Manny Machado agrees to 10-year, $300 million deal with Padres
With their city’s long-suffering fans desperate for a winner, the rebuilding San Diego Padres delivered their splashiest free agent signing ever by agreeing with All-Star infielder Manny Machado on a $300 million, 10-year deal.
A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Tuesday, speaking 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 agreement 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. It would be the highest deal for a free agent, topping Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees from 2008-17.
More records may be broken soon. Free agent outfielder Bryce Harper could top Stanton’s deal in coming days or weeks.
That won’t matter a bit to Padres fans, who have never celebrated a World Series title and were keeping their fingers crossed in recent days as it became apparent that their team, with a mostly sad-sack history stretching back a half-century, actually had a chance at landing Machado, who is only 26.
Speaking at spring training in Peoria, Ariz., Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler declined to confirm the deal, saying: ‘‘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.
While Fowler looked serious, general partner Peter Seidler couldn’t help but smile while waiting for his turn to speak.
Without confirming the deal, Seidler — a nephew of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley — spoke of what his ownership group wants to bring to San Diego, where the Padres play in a gem of a ballpark just off the bay.
‘‘Ron and I, we love the city of San Diego, we love sports in San Diego, but we’re also well aware of the history. There’s never been a championship from a major sports franchise in San Diego . . . We as an organization 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 help make that happen.’’
The Padres lost 96 games last year, 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 NL Championship against Atlanta. They were routed in their two World Series appearances, by Detroit in 1984 and the New York Yankees in 1998.
With Machado on board, the next big move for the Padres, whether by Opening Day or later in the season, is expected to be the promotion of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., the 20-year-old son of a former big leaguer and the No. 2 overall prospect in baseball.
A four-time All-Star, Machado hit .297 last year and set career bests with 37 homers and 107 RBIs. A four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, he has a .282 career average with 175 homers.
Newcombe dies at 92
Don Newcombe, the hard-throwing Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who was one of the first black players in the major leagues and who went on to win the Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Cy Young awards, died. He was 92. The team confirmed that Newcombe died Tuesday morning after a lengthy illness.
Newcombe, like Dodgers teammate Jackie Robinson, was signed by Branch Rickey from the Negro Leagues and went on to make a huge mark in the major leagues.
‘‘Newk’’ was a fierce presence on the mound, a 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound bear of a man who stared down hitters and backed up anyone foolish enough to crowd the plate. He was a four-time All-Star and won 20 games three times.
His greatest year was 1956 when he went 27-7 and won both the Cy Young Award, then only given to one pitcher for both leagues, and the National League MVP award.
Rivera on defensive
Just weeks after becoming baseball’s first unanimous Hall of Fame selection, Mariano Rivera is defending himself from accusations in his native Panama that he has failed to support two children he had outside his marriage. Rivera called the demands filed against him in the Central American country ‘‘unfounded.’’ Rivera’s comments came as he is being asked to appear before Panamanian judicial authorities to answer accusations that he has failed to fulfill his obligations to support the boy and girl, ages 11 and 15 . . . Hours after Machado agreed to a deal with San Diego, commissioner Rob Manfred said the slow free-agent market is ‘‘a little much ado about nothing if in fact those players all sign at the end of the day.’’ Manfred, speaking at a news conference in Glendale, Ariz., said if the top free agents — including Harper and Craig Kimbrel — make deals, ‘‘it’s kind of no harm no foul.’’