Nightengale: I Don't Think Machado Wanted San Diego

The Padres might not have been Manny Machado's first choice, Bob Nightengale says, "but money talks"

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
February 20, 2019 - 8:56 am

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Manny Machado signed the richest free-agent contract in American sports history Tuesday, inking a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres.

There’s just one problem: he might not actually want to play in San Diego.

“I think Manny Machado and his agent pretty much said, ‘We’re not signing for anything under $300 (million),” USA Today MLB insider Bob Nightengale said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The White Sox went way up. They started at 175 and they end up at 250, and that still wasn’t good enough. I don’t think Manny Machado wanted to go to San Diego, but money talks. Now he can be the face of that franchise.”

While his contract is for 10 years, Machado, a Florida native, has an opt-out clause after five.

Why?

“I think just in case he doesn’t like it,” Nightengale said. “It’s a long way from home, and I don’t think he was crazy about living in L.A. The downfall is the three-hour time change, so your family is asleep by the time you finally start playing games. Maybe in five years if he’s still a very productive player he can hit the market again and can find some place closer to home.”

Machado, 26, is a career .282 hitter with 175 home runs and 513 RBIs. Last year, he hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs with the Orioles and Dodgers, helping Los Angeles to a World Series appearance.

The Padres finished 66-96 last season. They last made the playoffs in 2006.