Padres land their Manny… Machado coming to San Diego

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Padres land their Manny… Machado coming to San Diego

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TNS

By Kevin Acee, The San Diego Union-Tribune

PEORIA, Ariz. – For the second year in a row, the San Diego Padres have shocked the baseball world with a late signing of one the free agent market’s biggest prizes.

This time, the team solved its need for a third baseman by acquiring one of the biggest superstars in the game by agreeing to a contract with Manny Machado.

Although Ron Fowler, Padres executive chairman, said Tuesday morning “we do not have a deal with any free agent,” two sources who did not want to be identified confirmed the agreement, which multiple reports said was worth $300 million over 10 years, with a five-year opt-out.

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The process seemed to drag on with just drips of news from week to week, but the landing of Machado actually came to fruition in a relative flash.

The courtship started later than last offseason’s wooing of Eric Hosmer that resulted in the first baseman agreeing to an eight-year, $144 million contract on the eve of spring training.

The Padres’ first contact with Machado’s representatives regarding the four-time All-Star came in mid-January after reports surfaced that the 26-year-old’s price might not be as prohibitive as expected.

The Padres soon found out any deal would need to be for much more than the reported $25 million a year that had sparked their surge in interest. Still, in need of a third baseman and with Machado being among the youngest and best free agents to ever reach the market, the team pressed on.

General Manager A.J. Preller flew to Miami the weekend before spring training to meet with Machado and his wife.

What resulted was a deal that is expected to be for eight years and more than $250 million. The precise terms were not immediately available.

This is the third year in row the Padres handed a player the richest contract in team history, following Wil Myers (six years, $83 million) in 2017 and Hosmer in ’18.

This acquisition changes the Padres like none has in decades, perhaps since the team traded for pitcher Kevin Brown prior to the 1998 season.

Machado is one of four major leaguers to have a WAR of at least 5.9 in three of the past four seasons, and his 142 home runs over the past four years rank seventh.

The last Padres position player to have a WAR of at least 5.9 was Chase Headley (6.4) in 2012, and just two other Padres position players have achieved that threshold since 2000.

Machado would have led the Padres in every offensive category except slugging percentage last season. Playing for the Orioles and Dodgers, to whom he was traded in July, Machado hit .297/.367/.538 in 2018. His career numbers in 926 games are .282/.335/.487 with 175 home runs.

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