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Manny Machado, San Diego Padres

Padres couldn’t afford to lose Manny Machado

Manny Machado agrees to 11-year, $350 million extension

Before Manny Machado signed with the San Diego Padres in 2019, the Friars hadn’t made the playoffs in 13 years. He received a $300 million, 10-year deal that winter with hopes of turning that franchise around.

The Padres had essentially spent the previous decade between fourth and fifth place in the National League West. They were so bad, you couldn’t even say they were in the mighty Dodgers’ shadow. There’s still work to do, but Machado is a major reason the Padres have closed much of the gap on the Dodgers.

The Friars finished in last place of the NL West with a 66-96 record the season before Machado landed in San Diego. Now, Machado and the Padres have made it to the postseason two of their last four years, including a trip to the National League Championship Series in 2022.

Settling in San Diego

Even though the San Diego roster includes plenty of big name firepower these days, Machado remains the straw that stirs the margaritas a short drive from Tijuana, Mexico. Padres’ ownership knew they couldn’t let Machado opt out of his deal after this season, so they did the right thing by extending his deal.

Manny Machado is settling down in America’s Finest City for the rest of his career. The San Diego Padres have come to an agreement with the 2022 NL MVP runner-up Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Machado and the Pads are finalizing an 11-year, $350 million contract extension. The deal includes a no-trade clause and no opt-outs, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic.

Machado’s contract extension becomes the fourth largest deal in Major League Baseball history, behind the deals signed by Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Aaron Judge. He is also the first player in MLB history to sign multiple $300 million contracts.

The six-time All-Star told the media earlier this month that he was considering opting out of his 11-year, $300 million contract after the 2023 season.

Manny Machado proved to be a priority

“Obviously the team knows where I stand, my situation, with the opt-out coming,” Machado told San Diego beat reporters. “I think I’ve expressed that I will be opting out after this year, but my focus is not about 2024.”

Soon after, Padres chairman Pete Seidler told the media that “Manny is my top priority.” Seidler wasn’t kidding.

Since the 30-year-old Dominican American stepped onto the dirt at Petco Park, he has arguably become the Padres’ captain. In his past four seasons in San Diego, Machado hit .280 with a .352 on-base percentage and .504 slugging.  His 136 OPS+ and 129 wRC+ ranked second and third respectively in the NL in 2022. 

He has played more than 150 games each 162-game season in San Diego, and the full 60-game slate in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Machado was selected to the All-Star roster in his past two years. He won a Silver Slugger and was an MVP finalist in 2020 and 2022. 

What’s next for the Padres?

There’s only one thing left to do for the Padres, and that’s winning the World Series.

The Padres finished second in the NL West and clinched an NL Wild Card berth last year. They shocked the baseball world by knocking off the 111-win Dodgers in the Division Series. He helped San Diego advance to its first NLCS since 1998.

Unfortunately for the Padres, they were defeated in the NLCS by the Phillies in five games. 

The Padres had a productive off-season signing veteran players Nelson Cruz, Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, and Matt Carpenter. They brought back key relievers Nick Martinez and Robert Suarez. Starting pitcher Yu Darvish signed a contract extension. The biggest move of the off-season for the Padres was signing former Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year contract. 

The Padres are expected to remain aggressive in next off-season by going after Shohei Ohtani. Two years from now, they will surely try to secure outfielder Juan Soto to a contract extension before he hits free agency.

For now, the Friars look to make a significant push this season. Their core four – Machado, Soto, Bogaerts and Fernando Tatis Jr. – look forward to another postseason run. They hope to bring the Padres first World Series title in franchise history. Machado will have 11 more years in San Diego to try to lead the franchise to its first title.

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