Biggest MLB contracts in history: How Manny Machado’s reported deal ranks all-time

Biggest MLB contracts in history: How Manny Machado’s reported deal ranks all-time

The Manny Machado free agency tour has reached its long-awaited conclusion with the prized infielder reportedly agreeing to a decade-long deal with the San Diego Padres.
In landing the former Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers slugger, not only have the Padres brought clarity to a slow-dragging MLB market, boosted pressure on teams interested in Bryce Harper and infused their lineup with long-term star power, but they’ve also made financial history.
While Machado’s reported 10-year, $300 million contract doesn’t quite eclipse the infamous 2014 Giancarlo Stanton deal in terms of total money, it instantly becomes one of the largest in baseball, not to mention all of American professional sports. Here’s how it stacks up against the biggest all-time deals in MLB history, with numbers from Baseball Prospectus:
PLAYER TEAM CONTRACT LENGTH CONTRACT VALUE AVERAGE/YEAR
Giancarlo Stanton
PLAYER TEAM CONTRACT LENGTH CONTRACT VALUE AVERAGE/YEAR
Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins 13 years $325 million $25 million
Manny Machado San Diego Padres 10 years $300 million $30 million
Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees 10 years $275 million $27.5 million
Alex Rodriguez Texas Rangers 10 years $252 million $25.2 million
Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers 8 years $248 million $31 million
Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels 10 years $240 million $24 million
Robinson Cano Seattle Mariners 10 years $240 million $24 million
Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds 10 years $225 million $22.5 million
David Price Boston Red Sox 7 years $217 million $31 million
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers 7 years $215 million $30.5 million

If you’re looking just at average money per year, Machado’s deal still lands in the top five. Here’s a look at the top 10 current MLB contracts in terms of average salary per season:

  1. SP Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks: $34.4 million
  2. SP David Price, Boston Red Sox: $31 million
  3. SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: $31 million
  4. 1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: $31 million
  5. SS Manny Machado, San Diego Padres: $30 million
  6. SP Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals: $30 million
  7. CF Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets: $27.5 million
  8. 3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies: $26 million
  9. SP Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs: $25.8 million
  10. SP Justin Verlander, Houston Astros: $25.7 million
Beyond baseball, in terms of total money, Machado’s contract clocks in as the third largest in all of sports, ranking behind those of only Stanton and boxer Canelo Álvarez ($365 million) among current deals.
If you dive a little deeper, the Padres’ $300 million payout for Machado doesn’t look quite as massive. (If, somehow, you can picture a $300 million contract as anything but massive.) As FanGraphs’ Craig Edwards calculated this offseason, converting old contracts to today’s dollars would indicate that Machado’s deal is actually the 10th largest in baseball history rather than the second largest. Alex Rodriguez’s 2001 contract would be worth a whopping $592 million in 2019 dollars.
Next up, Bryce Harper.

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