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Manny Machado says he plans to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract with the San Diego Padres after this season.
Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres in February 2019, a deal that gives him the right to terminate the agreement after this season and become a free agent. The third baseman, who turns 31 in July, would forfeit $150 million from his current deal, which calls for a $30 million annual salary through 2028.
“Obviously the team knows where I stand, my situation with the opt-out coming,” Machado told reporters Friday at the Padres’ spring-training camp in Peoria, Arizona. “I think I’ve expressed that I will be opting out after this year, but I think my focus is not about 2024. I think my focus is about 2023, what I can do to this ballclub, what I’ve done for this organization and what we’re going to continue to do here. I think we’ve got something special here growing, and I don’t think anything’s going to change.”
Machado’s contract was a record for a free agent when he agreed to it and the second-largest in the major leagues behind Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million. But he is now tied for the 11th-highest after an offseason topped by AL MVP Aaron Judge’s $360 million, nine-year contract to stay with the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout leads the major leagues at $426.5 million.
“Markets change,” Machado said. “From when I signed five years ago. It’s changed tremendously. Things change and evolve. As a player who’s about to opt out, it’s pretty good to see.”
A six-time All-Star, Machado is coming off a season in which he finished second in the NL MVP voting. He batted .298 with 32 homers, 102 RBIs, a .366 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage.
His presence helped the Padres go 89-73 and reach the NL Championship Series before falling to Philadelphia.
Machado declined to comment on negotiations for a reworked deal.
“I’m just here to play baseball and continue to do what I’ve got to do,” Machado said. “I let my agent, front office and (general manager) A.J. (Preller) and (owner) Peter (Seidler) handle that.”
Padres manager Bob Melvin said that “I don’t want to know” what it would be like to have Machado playing elsewhere.
“That provision’s in his contract,” Melvin said. “It’s in his right to opt out, but we’ve also shown a willingness to keep the important guys here.”
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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