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After months of speculation with several teams in the mix including the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, free agent shortstop Manny Machado has agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres.
Machado’s deal is now the largest in American sports history. Machado is a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove award winner.
Last year, Machado started the season with the Baltimore Orioles where he hit 24 home runs, had 65 RBI and had a .315 batting average. Following the All-Star game, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects.
With the Dodgers, he hit 13 home runs, had 42 RBI, and a .273 average. Most importantly than his pop, he added his defensive prowess to the team which lead them on a play off run that ended with a loss to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
San Diego has not seen much success since their 1998 World Series appearance. After winning the National League West twice in 2005 and 2006, they had not reached the playoffs in 12 years.
Despite notable names like first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and starting pitcher Jake Peavy leading the charge, both of which were dealt for prospects, the Padres biggest set back came in 2015 when they acquired various former all-stars.
Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton, as well as starting pitcher James Shields were the most popular players. By the end of the offseason, they had traded away seven of their top 11 prospects that were all rated by Baseball America. They would finish in fourth place in the National League West, 18 games out of first place.
With Machado now signed, this leaves one major free agent left in play, outfielder Bryce Harper. Machado’s $300 million deal will surely set the bar for Harper. With the season a little more than a month away, his decision could be coming soon.