So, today, I was minding my own business, reading at my desk during my lunch and I got a notification on my phone saying that Manny Machado is going to sign with the San Diego Padres for 10 years/$300 million.
AKA the biggest free agent contract in history.*
*Guess who signed the second biggest free agency contract? THE SAN DIEGO PADRES LAST SEASON WHEN THEY SIGNED ERIC HOSMER FOR EIGHT YEARS/$144 MILLION FOR HIM TO HIT .253 IN 2018.
The rumor mill about Machado and Bryce Harper had seemed to quiet down—or at least I stopped listening. Back when I yelled about the off-season, I talked about how neither of them had signed yet and why I didn’t think they were worth what they were asking for.
I’m not good at math, but I get that teams are making more money and not paying the players enough. I get that these players need to make a living. (Granted, I could make a fairly nice living off the league minimum of $500,000.) I get that they’re super talented and all that jazz. I like baseball, and baseball players should be paid.
BUT HOW MANY OTHER LONG TERM CONTRACTS HAVE ACTUALLY WORKED OUT IN THE PAST?!
Let’s take a look:
- Robinson Cano signed a 10 year/$240 million free agency contract with the Seattle Mariners. He was suspended for 80 games in 2018 for violating MLB’s performance enhancing drug policy. On December 3, 2018, he was dumped to the Mets along with Edwin Diaz and $20 million for five players.
GiancarloMike Stanton signed a 13 year/$325 million contract with the Miami Marlins in November 2014. He was dumped to the New York Yankees along with cash considerations for Starlin Castro and two minor leaguers in 2017.
- Albert Pujols signed a 10 year/$254 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California of the United States of America in 2011. This was one of the big contracts I remember hearing about because the St. Louis Cardinals offered him the same amount of years but a few less millions and he chose to go with the money. He got hurt in 2013 and has been plugging along since, hitting the appropriate milestones as one does after being in the league for 18 seasons.
- Zach Greinke signed a six year/$206.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The six years wasn’t what bothered me; it was the $206.5 million. That breaks down to $34.4 million a year. Granted he has an ERA that hovers around 3.00 each season, but he got the big contract after a 1.66 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. (Side note: he had also signed a six year deal with the Dodgers in 2012 worth $147 million and then opted out of the last three years of his contract and became a free agent.)
- David Price signed a seven year/$217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2015. He’s getting $31 million a year. He’s had his moments the last few seasons with the Sox: mostly elbow injuries, getting into a verbal altercation with Dennis Eckersley, and lost his tenth postseason start. But at least he didn’t exercise his opt-out clause?
- Clayton Kershaw signed a seven year/$215 million deal with the Dodgers in 2013. Okay, so this one may have worked out okay. I mean, in 2013, 2014, and 2017, his ERA was 1.83, 1.77, and 2.31, respectively.
- Miguel Cabrera signed an eight year/$248 million contract extension with the Detriot Tigers in 2014. He had a great start to his career, but I feel like he’s just kind of petered out over the last few years. Mostly because of all of the injuries he’s had.
This was just looking at contracts worth over $200 million. Here’s an article from CBS Sports that breaks down the biggest contracts in the MLB to date.
So here’s what I have issues with:
- IT’S THE SAN DIEGO PADRES. YEAH IT’S WARM THERE BUT THEY DON’T WIN. People keep saying they have such a great farm system and this could be their year, but that doesn’t really mean much unless those players are producing.
- THE DUDE WHO STRUCK OUT ON HIS KNEE FOR THE FINAL OUT OF THE 2018 WORLD SERIES AND WHO ALSO CLEATED A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE RED SOX DOES NOT DESERVE $300 MILLION.
- HOW ABOUT WE USE SOME OF THOSE MILLIONS TO PAY MINOR LEAGUERS A FAIR LIVING WAGE?!
- WHERE ARE THE PADRES GETTING THIS MONEY? Their payroll was just over $94 million last year. This year, they’ll owe Machado and Hosmer $51 million, a little over HALF OF THEIR TOTAL PAYROLL. Let me know your conspiracy theories in the comments.
So now it’s just the waiting game to see A. Where Bryce Harper ends up, and B. How much he’s paid. Scott Boras is probably calling around and asking for $300,000,001.
I mean, at least Machado is out of the AL East. BUT THE SOX PLAY THE PADRES IN SAN DIEGO IN AUGUST. NOOOOOO. I assumed he wanted to get as far away as he could from Chris Sale. But he has an opt-out after five years.
If you were paid $300 million for 10 years at your job, what would you do with it? Would you take the five year opt-out or stay the 10 years?