Machado focused on this season, but plans to opt out

February 17th, 2023

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The potential middle of the order met in the middle of the Padres’ clubhouse on Friday, when new and former teammates and Nelson Cruz shared a warm hug.

Will Machado have more camp hugs next season?

Machado reiterated that after the 2023 season he plans to opt out of the contract that pays him $30 million a year, and he said management is well aware.

“So far this year, I’m a Padre, but who knows next year,” Machado said in his first media scrum Friday. “Obviously the team knows where I stand, my situation, with the opt-out coming. I think I’ve expressed that I will be opting out after this year, but my focus is not about 2024.

“My focus is about 2023 and what I can do for this ballclub, and what I have done for this organization and what we are going to continue to do here. I think we have something special here growing, and I don’t think anything is going to change.”

The Padres have not been shy about entering the high end of the market. They signed Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million deal in the offseason, and they recently gave Yu Darvish a six-year, $108 million extension.

“That was huge,” Machado said of Darvish's extension. “That’s a big part of this team. What he did last year, he carried us throughout the whole way. He was one of the big reasons we were in the playoffs last year. That’s awesome for him.”

Is Machado on deck?

The 30-year-old did not want to characterize negotiations with the Padres, or if there even were any in progress. But like all of the baseball world, he has noticed the other big offseason deals.

Aaron Judge signed a nine-year, $360 million contract with the Yankees, and Rafael Devers (11 years, $313.5 million from the Red Sox) and Trea Turner (11 years, $300 million from the Phillies) also received big paydays.

Machado set the industry standard for third basemen with his 10-year, $300 million contract in 2019, his age-26 season, and he said Friday he would be open to a new deal of a similar length.

“Hopefully,” he said.

Machado said he hopes to play as long as Cruz, who at age 42 has spent 18 years in the Majors.

“It’s a business," Machado said. "These are things that happen. Markets change. From when I signed five years ago, it’s changed tremendously. Things change and evolve for other players … it’s pretty good to see.”

Padres manager Bob Melvin sounded optimistic, noting the offseason deals with Bogaerts and Darvish.

“We’ve shown a willingness to keep the important guys here, and I’m sure there is a good chance with Manny, too,” Melvin said. “I don’t want to know what it is going to look like without him."

Machado said there is no timetable for a potential extension and that his focus on the field will never waver.

“I play baseball,” he said. “I go out there and do what I can every single day. I think ultimately we are out here to do one thing and one thing only, and that’s to do what we are blessed to do. I was blessed to play baseball, and that’s what I’m going to do every single day.

“Try to keep leading this team on the right path and doing the things we need to do as a ballclub here. We just have to get together as a team and focus on our goal. Ultimately, that’s all that matters. Just do what I have to do and let my agent and the front office and [general manager] A.J. [Preller] and [Padres chairman] Peter [Seidler] handle that. They know where we stand.”