Manny Machado Agrees to Biggest Free Agent Deal in MLB History- Bryce Harper Still Unsigned

Colin Koot, Writer

All-Star shortstop and third baseman Manny Machado has finally signed a contract after almost four months of waiting.  The San Diego Padres signed the slugger to a ten year, 300 million dollar deal on February 19.


Machado posted a career high last year in batting average (.297), on base percentage (.367), OPS (.905), and home runs (37).  He is also a four time All-Star and two time gold glove winner.


Machado said repeatedly throughout the offseason that he would only take a contract worth 300 million, matching the request made by Bryce Harper, another marquee free agent.


The Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, and Philadelphia Phillies were all deeply involved in talks for Machado, but came up short in the end.  Other teams were linked to him, but were not willing to pay the hefty price tag.


With Machado off the market, many teams will go hard in the pursuit of Harper.  The Phillies have been identified by many as the front runner for him, however, the Padres got involved fairly late in the Machado sweepstakes.


“It is believed that the Phillies are positioned as the likely favorites for the star outfielder at this stage, although the Nationals, White Sox and Giants also cannot be counted out,” said Jon Heyman, MLB Network Insider.


Machado will most likely fit right in with what the Padres are building in San Diego.  According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Padres have the best farm system in baseball.


With Machado, Ian Kinsler, and Eric Hosmer, the Padres now have a veteran presence to surround their young prospects. The best of which is Fernando Tatis Junior, the second ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline.


“In a couple years, the Padres will be playoff and maybe even title contenders,” said freshman Matthew McGonigal.


Many people have had issues with Manny Machado’s personality however, with him often initiating dirty slides and conducting off the field antics.  This offseason he declared that he will never be “Johnny Hustle.”


Nonetheless, a change of scenery will most likely be a good thing for him.  He will have the opportunity to start over in a smaller market.


“Machado won’t face the kind of scrutiny in San Diego that he might have elsewhere and the foundation is there for long-term success with the Padres,” wrote Jesse Yomtov in the USA Today.


While the National League West is loaded with talent this year, the Padres look to emerge as a championship contender in the years to come.