Padres’ Manny Machado will opt out of $300 million contract.

With $352 million in salary commitments this winter, the good times never seem to end for the San Diego Padres. 

Yet they are something of a baseball paradox, because even as they guaranteed Xander Bogaerts $280 million to play shortstop until 2033, their window as a superteam is actually narrowing. 

The club was reminded of that Friday when All-Star third baseman Manny Machado reported to spring training and confirmed to reporters that he will opt out of his contract after the 2023 season, a fact that on its face isn’t surprising. 

Machado and Bogaerts will comprise the best left side of an infield in baseball, arguably one of the greatest in the game’s modern history. Yet we are once again reminded that they’re only guaranteed to be together this year. 

But it is Machado who is ninth among all position players with 11.9 WAR the past two seasons, who has posted an .855 OPS and 136 adjusted OPS since joining the Padres in 2019, with second- and third-place finishes in MVP voting two of the past three seasons. 

It’s also Machado whose 10-year, $300 million contract (which he did not sign until after spring training began in 2019, a nod to the glorious days of soft collusion) has now become grossly outdated. And Machado whose representation wisely stuck an opt-out clause into that deal after this season. 

And here we are. 

“I’ve expressed that I will be opting out after this year,” Machado told reporters Friday, noting his focus remains on this year and taking the Padres a step further than their stirring run to the National League Championship Series in 2022. 

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