The San Diego Padres have reportedly signed Manny Machado to the biggest free agent contract in American sports history. According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the deal is worth $300 million over 10 years, surpassing the previous mark by Alex Rodriguez, who signed a 10-year pact with the New York Yankees in 2007 for $275 million. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that Machado's deal includes an opt-out after the fifth year.
Machado's contract not only leapfrogs Rodriguez's 2007 deal, it also eclipses the 10-year, $252 million pact A-Rod made with the Texas Rangers in 2001, which moves from second to third among the largest contracts in American sports history. Robinson Cano and Albert Pujols are still in the midst of their 10-year deals worth $240 million. That puts them in a tie for fourth.
On Sunday, MLB teams were made aware of the Padres' commitment to make a splash with Machado by offering him something in the $280 million range over eight years. Despite those reports, the Chicago White Sox were confident in their ability to land the 26-year-old infielder, given their chances of contending in the American League Central in comparison to the Padres in the stacked National League West.
White Sox Executive VP Kenny Williams made no secret of his shock upon hearing about the Padres throwing all their chips on the tables for Machado.
Machado's deal with the Padres will become the second-highest contract in baseball history overall, trailing Giancarlo Stanton, who inked an extension worth $325 million over 13 years prior to the 2015 season.
NBA teams are limited to offering a maximum of four years to free agents while the player's previous team is the only one capable of pushing their deal to a fifth year. The league, however, makes up for the short-term aspect by providing teams with a max and supermax option that can push their yearly salary into the $40 million range. Steph Curry is currently the highest-paid player at $201.2 million over five years.
Given the life span of an NFL player, players never receive anywhere close to the length of Machado's contract. Much like the NBA, the NFL is shy on years, but can be generous on money. Aaron Rodgers could potentially earn upwards of $180 million with his new four-year extension, which is tacked onto the remaining two years of his previous contract.
Either way, Machado can take pride in having the largest free agent contract in American sports history. That is, until Bryce Harper finalizes his new deal.