Padres, Manny Machado Agree to Biggest Free Agent Contract in History

The Padres emerged as suitors for Machado this offseason alongside the White Sox, Phillies and Yankees.
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Manny Machado has signed with the San Diego Padres, the club announced Thursday.

ESPN's Jeff Passan was the first to report the deal on Wednesday. 

The superstar free agent's 10-year, $300 million deal is the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports, MLB Networks' Mark Feinsand added. The deal includes an opt out option after the fifth year, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.

The White Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Padres emerged as possible landing spots for Machado throughout the offseason, although San Diego and Philadelphia appeared to be the shortstop's final suitors. Padres general manager A.J. Preller reportedly flew to Miami last week to meet with Machado and his wife. 

Padres owners Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler could not confirm the deal yet but addressed the media and issued the following statement, according to AJ Cassavell of MLB.com.

"Ron and I, we love the city of San Diego. We love sports in San Diego. We're also well aware of the history. There's never been a championship...We, as an organization, we 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."

White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams was shocked by Machado's decision on Tuesday. He told reporters that the team could not go to the $300 million level and he thought the White Sox had a chance for a deal with him as early as Wednesday morning, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com. He learned of the Machado news from Twitter. 

"I'm wearing my shades so you can't see the shock in my eyes," Williams said.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the White Sox offered eight years for $250 million, which would feature a greater average annual value than his reported deal with the Padres. Rosenthal adds that the total value of the White Sox, with incentives and vesting options, could have been "well north" of $300 million.

Machado's signing was the most anticipated of the offseason next to Bryce Harper's, who remains unsigned despite the start of spring training. Both free agents were reportedly seeking record-breaking 10-year deals worth around $300 million. The Phillies and White Sox are expected to be the most aggressive suitors for Harper now.

Machado hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs for the Orioles and Dodgers last season. The four-time All-Star was traded from Baltimore to Los Angeles just ahead of the July trade deadline. Machado spent the first six and a half seasons of his major league career with the Orioles, who selected him in the first round of the 2010 amateur draft.