Manny Machado says he plans to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract with the San Diego Padres after this season.
Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres in February 2019, a deal that gives him the right to terminate the agreement after this season and become a free agent. The third baseman, who turns 31 in July, would forfeit $150 million from his current deal, which calls for a $30 million annual salary through 2028.
“Obviously the team knows where I stand, my situation with the opt-out coming,” Machado told reporters Friday at the Padres’ spring-training camp in Peoria, Arizona. “I think I’ve expressed that I will be opting out after this year, but I think my focus is not about 2024. I think my focus is about 2023, what I can do to this ballclub, what I’ve done for this organization and what we’re going to continue to do here. I think we’ve got something special here growing and I don’t think anything’s going to change.”
Machado’s contract was a record for a free agent when he agreed to it and the second-largest in the major leagues behind Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million. But he is now tied for the 11th-highest after an offseason topped by AL MVP Aaron Judge's $360 million, nine-year contract to stay with the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout leads the major leagues at $426.5 million.
“Markets change,” Machado said. “From when I signed five years ago. It’s changed tremendously. Things change and evolve. As a player who’s about to opt out, it’s pretty good to see.”
A six-time All-Star, Machado is coming off a season in which he finished second in the NL MVP voting. He batted .298 with 32 homers, 102 RBIs, a .366 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage.
His presence helped the Padres go 89-73 and reach the NL Championship Series before falling to Philadelphia.
Machado declined to comment on negotiations for a reworked deal.
“I’m just here to play baseball and continue to do what I’ve got to do,” Machado said. “I let my agent, front office and (general manager) A.J. (Preller) and (owner) Peter (Seidler) handle that.”
Padres manager Bob Melvin said that “I don’t want to know” what it would be like to have Machado playing elsewhere.
“That provision’s in his contract,” Melvin said. “It’s in his right to opt out, but we’ve also shown a willingness to keep the important guys here.”
KERSHAW TO MISS WBC
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw says he won’t be pitching for the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic and called the situation “super disappointing.”
“Probably my last chance to get to do it, so I really wanted to do it, but it just didn’t work out for a number of reasons,” Kershaw told reporters Friday at the Dodgers’ camp in Glendale, Arizona. “Disappointing, but that’s OK. I’ll be ready for the season. I’ll be ready to go.”
The three-time Cy Young Award winner didn’t specify what is preventing him from participating. Kershaw, who turns 35 on March 19, added that Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been helpful throughout the process.
Kershaw signed a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with the Dodgers this season. He went 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts and had two stints on the injured list last season.
NO BITTERNESS FOR ROJAS AFTER ARBITRATION
Arizona Diamondbacks utilityman Josh Rojas said he had no hard feelings toward team management after attending and losing an arbitration hearing this week. Rojas will get $2,575,000 instead of his $2.9 million asking price.
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said he and Rojas spoke Friday to clear the air.
“There’s definitely some playing with the numbers, some things they throw out there you disagree with, but that’s what they’re in there to do," Rojas said. "They’re there to show the judges that you are worth less than the middle number. Our job on our side is to show we’re worth more than the number. When you sign up for the process, you know what you’re signing up for.”
Rojas made his comments one day after 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes said “there’s no denying that the relationship is definitely hurt” from his own arbitration hearing with the Milwaukee Brewers. Burnes lost his arbitration case and will make $10.01 million rather than the $10.75 million he was seeking.
HAMSTRING TIGHTNESS FOR SOROKA
Atlanta right-hander Michael Soroka’s comeback from two Achilles surgeries is being slowed by tightness in his left hamstring. Manager Brian Snitker told reporters on Friday Soroka is being held back from throwing as a precaution after reporting to camp with the hamstring issue.
Soroka was an All-Star as a rookie in 2019 and was Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020. He hasn't pitched in the majors since suffering his first torn right Achilles three starts into the pandemic-delayed 2020 season. He suffered another tear in 2021 and had a 5.40 ERA in six minor league starts last season.
CORTES THROWS BULLPEN SESSION
New York Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes had a 24-pitch bullpen session after 10 days of not throwing due to a strained right hamstring. Cortes remains optimistic about being ready for opening day on March 30.
“It went better than I expected, actually,” Cortes said. “No issue as far as throwing and landing. As of right now there is no pain.”
Cortes went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 28 starts during an All-Star season last year.
“Nestor was really sharp,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I was really encouraged.”
Yankees reliever Michael King threw 25 pitches over two innings of a simulated game. He didn’t pitch after July 22 because of a fractured right elbow that required surgery.
EARLY START FOR LYNN
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn had a pretty good idea at the end of last season that he was going to play for the U,S. in the World Baseball Classic.
So he prepared accordingly.
“Throwing-wise, it was normal,” Lynn said Friday after a bullpen session in White Sox camp. “If you don’t make the playoffs, you get that time off during the playoffs to rest. So November 1 was when I started throwing. ... Jumped on the mound a little earlier than I normally would have, but that’s about it really.”
The 35-year-old missed last season's start after he had right knee surgery, one of a series of injuries for the White Sox that contributed to a disappointing 81-81 finish.
Chicago hired Pedro Grifol for its manager job in November, and Lynn said he sees it as part of his responsibility to help the skipper with his new role.
“We have some guys in here that have been around and done some things,” Lynn said, “and he’s able to reiterate what he wants and how we want to go about our business. That’s our job as players to go out there and work as hard as we can, and that’s what we’re doing.”
ORIOLES' HALL FEELING BETTER
Orioles left-hander DL Hall has dealt with some back issues but says he’s ready to compete for a rotation spot.
“It was just some minor discomfort in my low back. Nothing too crazy,” the 24-year-old said. “Obviously I’m already on the way back up. I’ve already started back throwing and everything. So I just shut down for a couple weeks. I’m good to go now.”
Hall made his big league debut last year, starting one game and making 10 relief appearances. He was 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA.
Baltimore has quite a few choices for its starting spots. The Orioles acquired Kyle Gibson and Cole Irvin in the offseason. Prospect Grayson Rodriguez figures to arrive before too long.
Hall didn’t express a preference between starting in the minors or making the Orioles as a reliever, if it comes to that. He left no doubt about where he sees his long-term future.
“I’m going to be a starter,” he said.
AP Baseball Writers Jay Cohen and Noah Trister, AP Sports Writers David Brandt and Charles Odum and AP freelance writer Mark Didtler contributed to this report.
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