Manny Machado: 2024? (Part 1)
Is Padres third baseman Manny Machado going to opt-out of his contract after the season? Let's talk about it.
How'd He Get His Current Contract?
During the 2018-19 offseason, Manny Machado signed a 10-Year/$300 Million contract with the San Diego Padres. He was going into his age-26 season, was a 4-time All-Star, 2-time Gold Glove winner, and had finished in the Top-5 of MVP voting twice. He was a certified gem who was breaking out right as he was set to enter his prime.
Through his first 7 seasons in the big leagues (2012-2018) Manny Machado had the following statistics:
926 Games, .282/.335/.487/.822 Quadruple Slash (121 OPS+), 1050 Hits, 397 Extra Base Hits, 175 Home Runs, 513 RBI's, 53 Stolen Bases (24 times caught), +34.4 bWAR
It is hard to say no to a player who was average 4.85 bWAR a season in their mid-20's. Those are exactly the types of players to sign to long-term deals. They already have the pedigree, they'll (hopefully) only get better through their peak, and they'll be off the contract before they're too old and had become a liability.
There were some concerns about Machado, though. At the time he was considered one of the more obnoxious players in the league; this was evidenced by how he had on-going beef with multiple players. One altercation lead to him being suspended for 4 games during the 2016 season for charging the mound against Kansas City. And, he had to pay a fine during the 2018 postseason for actions he had against Jesus Aguilar. Manny Machado was not a "good guy" of baseball.
It's also important to note that he also had some concerns about his future injury potential as he had previously undergone two knee surgeries- one for each leg.
At the time, I did not want the Yankees to get Manny Machado. I was 100% set on the Yankees bringing in Bryce Harper. (This lack of a move will annoy me until the end of time.) I considered Manny Machado to be a fine 2nd option- had Bryce Harper not signed with the Yankees- but I ultimately did not want him to become a part of the Yankees clubhouse. It would've still been a smart move to bring in a budding superstar to a team that had just started Miguel Andujar at third base for the 2018 season. (And we all can see how well that turned out.) Yet, neither move was made.
His Potential Opt-Out:
Remaining on his deal from the 2019 offseason- after the 2023 season- Manny Machado will still have 5-Years and $150 Million still on the table. On the open market, Manny Machado knows he could beat those figures, even as a player going into his age-31 season. But before we get to that, consider this:
Over his 4 years with the San Diego Padres (2019-2022), Manny Machado has produced these statistics:
519 Games, .280/.352/.504/.855 Quadruple Slash (136 OPS+), 547 Hits, 215 Extra Base Hits, 108 Home Runs, 340 RBI's, 32 Stolen Bases (10 times caught), +17.6 bWAR
Manny Machado also was a 2-time All-Star, won a Silver Slugger, and finished in the Top-3 for MVP votes in 2 of those seasons. He's a stud. He's a yearly MVP favorite. There's not much more to ask for, he's living up to the contract.
Manny Machado has also turned his image around 100%. There was an "altercation" in the clubhouse last year between him and teammate Fernando Tatis Jr., but after review of the tapes it appeared to be Machado telling Tatis how good of a player he was and trying to motivate him. Manny Machado has become a clubhouse leader in San Diego. He's turned his reputation around from being a "bad guy" to a "good guy" of baseball. This is a huge positive in his favor when negotiating with the Padres.
Manny Machado is smart to announce his desires to opt-out now. Set to be a 31-year old going into the 2024 season, it's wiser to take a risk on a longer contract now as opposed to when he'd be entering his age-36 deal and looking for a few more years to stick around in the bigs. He's also now officially opened up a market for himself. Teams around the league will notice and make halfway cryptic references to the media about intentions of signing him away from San Diego. It puts pressure on the San Diego front office to get something done as well, which could boost his stock further.
Consider this: Xander Bogaerts- who is going to be 30 this season- just signed a 11-Year/$280 Million contract with...the San Diego Padres. The same team Manny Machado is playing on. He just saw them give a massive deal too. Now, it is a lower annual value than Machado, but Bogaerts's also going to be getting paid through his age-40 season. That's an addition 5 years of control and guaranteed salary on Manny. Keep in mind, Xander Bogaerts has only finished in the Top-10 of MVP voting twice in his career. Manny finished Top-3 twice in the past 3 years. They are both great players, but Machado is on another level.
There were reports that came out yesterday that Manny Machado was looking for a 10-Year/$400 Million extension. (Which has been debunked.) However, in that same report, it was suggested that the San Diego Padres have already offered to add on an additional 5-Year/$105 Million extension to the end of his deal. That would essentially become a 10-Year/$255 Million contract. I would imagine something in this range of about 8-10 years and $200-$250 Million to be the floor of any contract negotiations going forward.
What I'd really expect is that Manny Machado ends up with another 10-Year/$300 Million deal when all is said and done. He has the positives: yearly MVP threat, 30+ home run poential, high batting average, excellent defense at third base, he's played in 150+ games a year since 2015 (minus 2020 of course, when he played all 60 games), I could go on and on. However, he's also going to be entering an age-31 season (during which he'll turn 32 just 5 days after the age "cut-off"), which means his prime years will have been spent.
For a team like the Padres, it would make sense to keep him around. He's cemented himself as a fan-favorite for his play on the field and his actions off. He's become a true teammate and leader in the clubhouse. He's also a key piece in their core.
The better question though: Should the Yankees be interested?
Tomorrow- at 6:00 PM- I'll make both cases.
I'll see you then.