PEORIA, Ariz. -- Free-agent infielder Manny Machado has agreed to a deal with the Padres, sources have told MLB.com. The agreement is for a record $300 million over 10 years, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand confirmed.
The deal, which is pending a physical and includes an opt out after the fifth year, will be the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American sports, surpassing the 10-year, $275 million deal that Alex Rodriguez signed in December 2007.
Despite multiple reports of an agreement, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said, "We do not have a deal. We are continuing discussions."
San Diego was in dire need of a middle-of-the-order bat, and Machado clearly provides that thump. He batted .297/.367/.538 with 37 homers last season. The Padres haven't had a hitter with 30-plus homers and a .900 OPS since Adrian Gonzalez in 2010.
Machado also fills the biggest area of long-term need. The rest of the Padres' young starting lineup is under team control for the next four seasons. Third base was the most pressing question mark.
As things stand, though, it's possible Machado opens the season at shortstop -- also an area of need, as top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. isn't expected to arrive in the Majors until at least a few weeks into the season.
The Padres have been adamant about Tatis being their long-term shortstop, meaning that Machado, who spent his first six seasons at third before shifting to short last year, is likely bound for the hot corner once again.
The deal comes on the one-year anniversary of Eric Hosmer's previous franchise-record-setting $144 million contract. Machado will presumably fill out a long-term infield that features Hosmer, prospect Luis Urias at second and Tatis at short.
With the top-rated farm system in baseball and a host of young players under team control, the Padres, it seems, are in it for the long haul.
Machado brings elite defense to the table as well. He won two American League Gold Glove Awards with Baltimore, and has regularly ranked as one of the sport's best third basemen.
In every single facet, Machado makes the Padres a better team. It remains to be seen just how quickly he expedites the arrival of their window to compete in the National League West, as the rotation remains a major question mark. But the focus has clearly shifted toward contention.
The Padres' ownership group, led by Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler, were on hand at Spring Training camp on Monday and addressed the media. Fowler made it clear that no deal had been finalized, and the duo couldn't confirm the news. But they made it clear they're willing to put their chips in.
"Ron and I -- we love the city of San Diego, we love sports in San Diego, we're also well aware of the history," Seidler said. "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."
When asked why now might be the time to make a play for one of the top free agents, Fowler said: "There's no perfect timing. ... But there's not talent out there that becomes available every year that's as good as what we think is there now. We need a third baseman, obviously, and that's one of the reasons why those discussions started taking place. But we're not in a place where we can announce anything."
The Padres were also rumored to be in the mix for free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper, but those conversations will presumably end, now that Machado is on board. The Phillies, White Sox and Yankees were also in the mix for Machado's services.
In 926 career games over parts of seven seasons, Machado has 175 home runs, 513 RBIs and a .282/.335/.487 slash line. He has played in all but 11 games over the past four seasons, more than any other player in baseball over that span.
Baltimore drafted Machado with the third overall pick in the 2010 Draft, two picks after fellow free agent Bryce Harper. Machado, who had committed to play at Florida International University, signed with the Orioles for $5.25 million just minutes before the August signing deadline.
Machado made his professional debut 11 days after signing, playing for the GCL Orioles. He would play seven games with Class A Short-Season Aberdeen to finish that season, then played 101 games during the 2011 season with a pair of Class A teams in Baltimore's system.
After playing 109 games for Double-A Bowie in 2012, Machado -- who represented the Orioles in the All-Star Futures Game that summer -- earned a promotion to the Majors on Aug. 9, making his big league debut against the Royals. The 20-year-old hit a pair of home runs in his second career game, finishing his rookie season with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 51 games.
Machado was selected to the All-Star Game in his first full season in 2013, finishing the year with a league-high 51 doubles. His season ended with a left knee injury on Sept. 23, leading to surgery less than three weeks later that would cost him the first month of the '14 campaign.
Another knee injury in August 2014 required surgery, once again ending Machado's year prematurely. He recovered in time to open the '15 season healthy, earning his second career All-Star selection and second AL Gold Glove Award. Machado was the only player in the Majors to play in all 162 games that season, establishing career highs with 35 home runs, 86 RBIs, 102 runs scored and an .861 OPS, finishing fourth in AL Most Valuable Player Award voting.
Machado found himself back in the All-Star Game in 2016, slashing .318/.375/.569 with 19 homers, 53 RBIs and a .944 OPS before the break. He played 157 games that year, finishing with 37 home runs, 96 RBIs, 105 runs scored and an .876 OPS, earning his second straight Top 5 AL MVP Award finish.
In 2017, Machado became the first member of the Orioles -- and only the 30th player in history -- to record 270 extra-base hits before his 25th birthday.
Last season, Machado posted the best statistical year of his career, doing so amid constant trade talk and a move back to shortstop after playing the majority of his big league career at third base. He hit .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBIs in 96 games with the Orioles, earning the start at shortstop for the AL in the All-Star Game. Machado was traded to the Dodgers on July 18 and hit 13 home runs with 42 RBIs and an .825 OPS in 66 games with Los Angeles.
Machado struggled at times during the postseason, but he made his first appearance in the World Series, where the Dodgers fell to the Red Sox.
Machado created some unwelcomed headlines during the National League Championship Series, telling FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, "I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,'" responding to criticism about not running hard on the bases. Machado clarified the comments in November during an exclusive interview with MLB.com.
"When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn't come across how I meant it," he said. "For me, I was trying to talk about how I'm not the guy who is eye wash. There's a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I've always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.
"But I know how I said it and how that came across, and it's something I take responsibility for. I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have."
Those conversations included meetings with the Phillies, White Sox and Yankees, who all remained in contention for Machado's services throughout the offseason.
AJ Cassavell/MLB.com