Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The upcoming MLB free agent class won’t be as deep as the past two offseasons, but there should still be a few difference-makers available to sign. Among them was expected to be Manny Machado, who recently said he intended to opt out of his contract with the San Diego Padres at the end of the 2023 season.
The six-time All-Star announced his plans one day after a self-imposed deadline passed without a contract extension. The Padres reportedly offered to add five years and $105 million to Machado’s current deal, which would have brought his salary to $255 million over the next 10 years.
Machado originally signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres after the 2018 season. That came on the heels of a brief stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers in which he helped the club advance to the World Series.
According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers were divided on whether or not to make a run for Machado if he indeed reaches free agency:
The organization is “split” on entertaining a reunion with Machado, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking who is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Dodgers acquired Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for five players at the 2018 MLB non-waiver trade deadline, and he took over at shortstop in place of the injured Corey Seager.
Machado was productive with the Dodgers, but widely considered a rental due to Seager being under team control for three more seasons and Justin Turner locked in at third base.
L.A. is expected to be among the biggest spenders next offseason, and their top target undoubtedly will be Shohei Ohtani if he reaches free agency.
Meanwhile, Machado won’t be a fallback option as he reportedly agreed to an 11-year, $350 million contract extension with the Padres on Sunday morning.
Where would Manny Machado have fit with Dodgers?
As it currently stands, the Dodgers didn’t have an obvious need for Machado as Max Muncy has a player option for 2024 and Miguel Vargas is capable of playing third base if he signs elsewhere.
However, Machado is one of the premier talents in baseball, and the Dodgers presumably would find a way to fit all of the pieces together if he wants to return to the organization.
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