San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado made history on Friday, becoming the first big-league batter to ever violate the pitch timer as part of his exhibition season opener. (He was charged with an automatic strike since he wasn't ready to hit with eight seconds remaining on the clock.) Next up, he can only hope to make headlines soon for a more favorable reason -- like, perhaps, agreeing to a long-term extension before he can opt out this winter.
While Machado's self-imposed deadline recently passed, he suggested on Friday that he remains open to discussing new deals ahead of Opening Day.
"Deadlines are deadlines," Machado told Dennis Lin of The Athletic. "But they know where I stand. The opportunity will arise if it comes to that. You know, nothing's out of question. Obviously, they know how much San Diego means to me and what I want to be here. At the end of the day, they knew exactly where I was when that deadline was set. And we'll see what happens. Our main focus right now is playing baseball. We'll see."
Machado and the Padres were reportedly a fair ways apart as of his deadline. Whereas San Diego had offered to tack on another five years and $105 million to the five years and $150 million remaining on his contract after this season, thereby bringing the total commitment to 10 years, $255 million, he was seeking a greater payday. Who can blame Machado for that given the contracts signed by Aaron Judge and Trea Turner, among others last winter?
Machado himself nodded at that dynamic earlier in the spring, telling reporters, "There's a lot of money out there. As a player about to opt out, it's pretty good to see."
Machado in his first four seasons with the Padres has batted .280/.352/.504 (136 OPS+) with 108 home runs. That, plus his defensive excellence at third base, has allowed him to accumulate 17.6 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. He ranks 12 among position players in WAR during his Padres career, and fifth during the Pandemic Era.