In February 2019, infielder Manny Machado became the first free agent to sign a $300 million contract. It was also the largest FA contract in North America’s four major professional sports. “I was very surprised,” said Chicago White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams at the time. “I honestly thought we offered the most money.” The White Sox’ final offer was $250 million (8 years).
The team that gave Machado this honor was San Diego. It was a shock that San Diego, a typical small market, signed a $300 million contract. The small market broke the preconceived notion that large contracts could not be signed. President Ron Fowler, who was actively involved in the acquisition of Machado, emphasized the need for Machado and said, “I am much happier than the White Sox.”
In Baltimore, Machado was a trouble maker. He has been embroiled in several controversies for his unsportsmanlike behavior. Even his team could not unconditionally cover the play that stimulated the opponent more than necessary. As a result, he was more uncomfortable than his comfortable colleagues. He was a representative player whose reputation had diminished value.
San Diego wanted Machado to become a leader. Although most were dubious, San Diego believed Machado was the right man. And surprisingly, Machado showed a different appearance. He changed from a selfish player to an altruistic player. His personality, like a ticking time bomb that didn’t know when it would explode, was tempered with a passion for victory.
Before Machado, San Diego was a team used to losing. It was located on the periphery of the National League West division ranking fight. They haven’t made it to the postseason since 2006, and 2010 was the last time they surpassed the .500 win rate. It was a team that had nothing to do with winning the World Series.
Machado was a key player in improving San Diego’s constitution. Not only did he increase the team’s power with his skills, but he also comforted his teammates with the loudest voice every time. His tolerable injuries boosted his team morale while playing in reference games. In fact, even after Machado came to San Diego, there were ups and downs. The team was unstable, with the manager being replaced three times. Each time, Machado was the player who held the center so that it would not fall into further confusion. That’s how San Diego became Machado’s team.스포츠토토
San Diego, led by Machado, escaped a dark age. After making a postseason berth in 2020, they went up to the League Championship Series last year. In particular, defeating the Dodgers in the Division Series was a feat that will remain in team history. Although the World Series had to be promised next due to Philadelphia’s gust of wind, winning the vague World Series came a little closer.
The biggest stake in San Diego’s leap is, of course, Machado. With Machado as a support, the team was able to go further. If the massive investment made in Machado had failed, the will to continue reinforcing the military might have been weakened.
San Diego is setting bigger goals. However, a stumbling block that had been forgotten surfaced. Machado is an opt-out clause that was included in the contract. Machado can cancel the remaining five-year, $150 million contract at the end of this season and pursue a new contract in the free agent market. For San Diego, it is a serious issue that is at stake both now and in the future.
It is unclear whether Machado will actually exercise his opt-out right. However, San Diego has shown moves to prepare for Machado’s departure from before.