Manny Machado plans to opt out of Padres contract after 2023 season: 'Markets change'

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 22: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres celebrates his solo home run during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game four of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 22, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado is firm in his plans to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, he told told reporters Friday at the Padres’ spring training camp in Peoria, Arizona.

“Obviously, the team knows where I stand," the 30-year-old said. “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 ball club, what I’ve done for this organization and what we’re going to continue to do here."

Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres in February 2019, which included the right for him to terminate the agreement and become a free agent after this season.

In exercising that option, Machado would forfeit $150 million from his current deal, which allots a $30 million annual salary through 2028.

“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.”

The six-time All-Star's contract was a record amount for a free agent at the time and was the second-largest in the major leagues behind Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal. Now Machado is tied for the 11th-largest deal, after Yankees star Aaron Judge's $360 million, nine-year contract. Currently, the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout has the leading spot, with a $426.5 million contract.

Machado declined to speak about negotiations for a reworked deal to keep him in San Diego. “I’m just here to play baseball and continue to do what I’ve got to do,” he said. “I let my agent, front office and [general manager] A.J. [Preller] and [owner] Peter [Seidler] handle that.”

Machado finished second in NL MVP voting last season after recording a .298 batting average, 32 home runs and 102 RBIs. Those numbers helped the Padres finish 89-73 and reach the NL Championship Series, in which they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.

This season, Machado intends to give his all for the Padres. "I think we’ve got something special here growing, and I don’t think anything’s going to change," he said Friday. Team manager Bob Melvin understands Machado's choice but noted that he doesn't "want to know" what it would be like to lose the star.

“That provision’s in his contract,” Melvin said. “It’s in his right to opt out, but we’ve also shown a willingness to keep the important guys here.”