When San Diego Padres star Manny Machado and his camp included an opt-out clause after the fifth season of his ten-year, $300 million deal in early 2019, he was watching out for his own interests.
In case it isn’t clear, there is nothing wrong with players doing that.
Opt outs give them options: depending on their performance in the previous seasons, health, and the state of the market, they could opt to stay and honor the previous contract, or they can get out of that commitment to look for more dollars as a free agent.
It’s a normal move that star-level players seek these days.
Machado signed when he was 26.
Now, at 30, he had the best season of his career with a .298/.366/.531 line, 32 home runs, and nine Outs Above Average (OAA).
He saw how Xander Bogaerts got $280 million, Trea Turner got $300 million, and Carlos Correa was going to get $350 million.
It’s close, but Machado is arguably better than all of them.
He had to see the market, so he announced his intention to opt out after 2023.
The Padres, however, didn’t want him to test free agency.
With the way the market developed this year, there was a chance he could get close to $400 million if he had a similar season in 2023.
The Padres decided to remove all doubt and extended their star for 11 years and $350 million.
“‘This was the plan. Here we are. This is it.’ Manny Machado is ready to bring a (title) to San Diego,” MLB Network tweeted.
"This was the plan. Here we are. This is it."
Manny Machado is ready to bring a 🏆 to San Diego. pic.twitter.com/OgdJ1UfE3E
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 28, 2023
Some fans might be a bit upset about him announcing his intention to opt out to get more money, but he had to do it.
And yes: even though he was eager to test free agency, he is right when he says that staying in San Diego was the plan.
If that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t have put ink to paper on that 10-year deal in 2019.
Now that he has secured what is likely his last contract, Machado looks ready and committed to bring in the first World Series in franchise history.NEXT: MLB Insider Reveals Potential Timeline For Joe Musgrove