El Dorado News-Times

Padres’ Machado says he plans to opt out after this season

- By Steve Megargee AP Sports Writer

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 Angels' Mike Trout leads 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,” Machado said. “I let my agent, front office and (general manager) A.J. (Preller) and (owner) Peter (Seidler) handle that.”

Padres manager Bob Melvin said that “I don’t want to know” what it would be like to have Machado playing elsewhere.

“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.”


Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw says he won’t be pitching for the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic and called the situation “super disappoint­ing.”

“Probably my last chance to get to do it, so I really wanted to do it,

but it just didn’t work out for a number of reasons,” Kershaw told reporters Friday at the Dodgers’ camp in Glendale, Arizona. “Disappoint­ing, but that’s OK. I’ll be ready for the season. I’ll be ready to go.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner didn’t specify what is preventing him from participat­ing. Kershaw, who turns 35 on March 19, added that Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been helpful throughout the process.

Kershaw signed a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with the Dodgers this season. He went 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts and had two stints on the injured list last season.


Arizona Diamondbac­ks utilityman Josh Rojas said he had no hard feelings toward team management after attending and losing an arbitratio­n hearing this week. Rojas will get $2,575,000 instead of his $2.9 million asking price.

Diamondbac­ks general manager Mike Hazen said he and Rojas spoke Friday to clear the air.

“There’s definitely some playing with the numbers, some things they throw out there you disagree with, but that’s what they’re in there to do," Rojas said. "They’re there to show the judges that you are worth less than the middle number. Our job on our side is to show we’re worth more than the number. When you sign up for the process, you know what you’re signing up for.”

Rojas made his comments one day after 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes said “there’s no denying that the relationsh­ip is definitely hurt” from his own arbitratio­n hearing with the Milwaukee Brewers. Burnes lost his arbitratio­n case and will make $10.01 million rather than the $10.75 million he was seeking.


Atlanta right-hander Michael Soroka’s comeback from two Achilles surgeries is being slowed by tightness in his left hamstring. Manager Brian Snitker told reporters on Friday Soroka is being held back from throwing as a precaution after reporting to camp with the hamstring issue.

Soroka was an All-Star as a rookie in 2019 and was Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020. He hasn't pitched in the majors since suffering his first torn right Achilles three starts into the pandemic-delayed 2020 season. He suffered another tear in 2021 and had a 5.40 ERA in six minor league starts last season.


New York Yankees lefthander Nestor Cortes had a 24-pitch bullpen session after 10 days of not throwing due to a strained right hamstring. Cortes remains optimistic about being ready for opening day on March 30.

 ?? Associated Press ?? Making contact: San Diego Padres' Manny Machado follows through on an RBI double during the third inning in Game 2 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oct. 12, 2022, in Los Angeles.
Associated Press Making contact: San Diego Padres' Manny Machado follows through on an RBI double during the third inning in Game 2 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oct. 12, 2022, in Los Angeles.

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