The San Diego Padres have agreed to pay the star infielder the staggering sum over 10 years.

By Daniel Herborn


Posted on February 20, 2019

The baseballer’s giant deal eclipses the previous record which had been set by Machado’s mentor Alex Rodriguez in 2007 when he signed a 10-year contract with the New York Yankees.

The 26-year-old Machado has appeared in four All-Star games and has won the Gold Glove Award twice. Last year, he pocketed US$16 million and played for the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who he joined by trade in July.

The deal works out to US$82,191 each day, US$3,425 per hour or around US$57 a minute. Based on the average house price in San Diego, he could purchase 47 properties in the city and still have some change from a year’s earnings.

His stratospheric salary now rivals that of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed a US$123 million deal with Juventus last year.

Some have questioned Machado’s attitude despite his massive payday

His postseason efforts for the Dodgers were considered underwhelming, but it did not eventually hurt his prospects in free agency.

Somewhat alarmingly for a player on such a franchise-defining contract, there have been questions over how hard Machado plays. ESPN evaluated him an “unquestionable talent with a questionable attitude”.

Motivated or not, sabermetrics have suggested Machado is of immense value as a fielder; he ranks first of any Major League baseballer in terms of ultimate zone rating since 2013 with a 45.7 rating.

The Padres emerged victorious from a protracted bidding war over Machado with the Chicago White Sox. The latter team’s Executive Vice President Kenny Williams told reporters: “I’m wearing my shades so you can’t see the shock in my eyes” after hearing of the final number.

“That level wasn’t feasible to us because we still have to project putting together a total winning roster and keeping the young players that will ultimately earn into greater dollars themselves,” Williams added.

Baseballer Machado earning more than NFL stars, LeBron James

It is the biggest deal in baseball or any other US sport and compares favourably to the NFL’s biggest ever contract, which saw Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rogers signed an extension for US$134 million for four years.

While Rogers made more per season, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan was paid the highest total amount for any NFL player, making US$150 million over five years.

In basketball, a complex salary cap system restricts how much teams can pay players based on a number of factors including length of service, how the team acquired the player and whether the player has been selected in All-NBA teams.

The biggest NBA contract to date is James Harden’s US$228 million contract extension. The deal ties him to the Houston Rockets for six seasons.

LeBron James’ contract with the Los Angeles Lakers is worth just over US$153 million for four years, including more than US$41 million in the final year.

In the other ‘big four’ US sport of ice hockey, salaries are capped at US$15.9 million a season, with John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs currently the only player earning that amount.