Sports

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 AngelsMike Trout tops 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. I let my agent, front office and A.J. and Peter handle that,” Machado said, referring to general manager A.J. Preller and owner Peter Seidler.

Said Padres manager Bob Melvin: “I don’t want to know” what it would be like to have Machado playing elsewhere. “That provision is in his contract. It’s in his right to opt out, but we’ve also shown a willingness to keep the important guys here.”

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