PEORIA, Ariz. — It may not have been Manny Machado’s first choice, but money talks, and on Tuesday morning the free-agent infielder agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres that will be finalized once he passes his physical, a person with direct knowledge of the contract told USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been made official.
The news caught the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies by surprise. They also were involved in the bidding, particularly the White Sox, who offered a seven-year deal with options.
White Sox first baseman Yonder Alonso, Machado’s brother-in-law, and close friend Jon Jay knew Tuesday that Machado was on the verge of making his decision, but did not know which way he was headed at the time.
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The White Sox had the high offer on the table for months with a seven-year contract worth less than $200 million, but the Padres stepped in when they realized he was within their price range. Still, the White Sox thought they would be able to get a deal done.
“This morning, I honestly believed that we had the best offer on the table,” White Sox president Ken Williams said Tuesday after news broke.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn added that he “felt like we made a very compelling offer” to the free agent.
The Yankees, who were Machado’s first preference, never had substantial talks with Dan Lozano, Machado’s agent since November, and were only willing to offer a lucrative one-year contract.
“He’s an unbelievable player,” said Jay, who has known Machado since he was 18. “He’s the type of player you want in your camp right now. There are a lot of kids that want a Bryce Harper jersey or a Manny Machado jersey or Dallas Keuchel.
“Manny has had to deal with stuff since he was 15 years old, and he has handled every transition seamlessly, so I expect the same thing right now.’’
And for Alonso, well, Machado won’t be a teammate, but he has a spare room in his rental home for him and his wife, Yainee.
“I think I answered questions about him three or four times a day since I got here,’’ said Alonso, who was traded to the White Sox on Dec. 15. “I tried to answer all of the questions. But I wasn’t here to share my thoughts or really what this side of my family is thinking.’’