SAN DIEGO (AP) – All-Star infielder Manny Machado has agreed to a $300 million, 10-year deal with the rebuilding San Diego Padres, the biggest contract ever for a free agent, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical and had not been announced. Machado can opt out after five years and become a free agent again, the person said.
Machado’s deal, if completed, would be the second-largest in baseball history behind Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million, 13-year deal signed with the Miami Marlins ahead of the 2015 season. Among free agents it tops Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees from 2008-17.
Records may be broken soon. Free agent outfielder Bryce Harper could top Stanton’s deal in coming days or weeks.
Speaking at spring training in Peoria, Arizona, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said: “We do not have a deal with any free agent player. We are continuing discussions, and that’s all we have to say.”
Teams draw a distinction between an agreement subject to a physical and a finalized deal.
However, general partner Peter Seidler, without confirming the deal, said: “Ron and I, we love the city of San Diego, we love sports in San Diego, we’re also well aware of the history. There’s never been a championship … We as an organization, we want to completely change that. We want our franchise to win year after year after year. And we’re going to do whatever we can rationally do to make that happen.”
The Padres haven’t had a winning season since 2010 and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006. They haven’t won a playoff series since the 1998 NLCS against Atlanta.
And they’ve had the city’s big league sports scene to themselves since the NFL’s Chargers moved to the Los Angeles area two seasons ago.
The Padres have been rebuilding mostly with prospects and draft picks, although they are making a stunning move early in spring training for the second straight year after reaching a $144 million, seven-year contract last February with first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Machado is expected to fill the team’s gaping need at third base. He began last year with Baltimore, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the All-Star break and struck out to end the World Series loss to Boston.