Padres must engage Manny Machado to keep 2023 from being his final season in San Diego
Published in Baseball
SAN DIEGO — The Padres have some work to do to keep their de facto captain beyond 2023.
"We've expressed our feelings regarding the opt-out to them," Manny Machado said Saturday, smiling wide.
Machado's candor regarding his ability to opt out of his contract after this season qualifies as news. But the idea he will do so hardly is.
Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million contract in February 2019, which at the time was the largest free-agent pact in North American sports history and now is almost certainly a little light.
Given his production to date, his age and the state of the market for top MLB talent, Machado exercising the opt-out clause midway through his contract has become a foregone conclusion.
It is something the Padres have anticipated for some time, and multiple sources said the team has been made aware that if there is no new contract by the end of the season, Machado intends to become a free agent.
At the press conference to announce the signing of Xander Bogaerts in December, Padres Chairman Peter Seidler was asked about the likelihood of securing long term the services of the star infielder the team already has.
"Our very strong intent — very strong — is to have Manny here for the rest of his career," Seidler responded.
That may well be the case.
The team has certainly stepped up to retain, acquire and attempt to acquire other players.
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