The news that free agent infielder Manny Machado had finally signed a contract was news to everyone around baseball on Tuesday, including the Red Sox.
Reactions to Machado’s record-breaking free agent deal with the Padres — reportedly 10 years for $300 million — filtered through all levels of the game. The team Machado faced in the 2018 World Series offered a few thoughts of their own.
“I mean, I don’t see how it’s bad for any other one. Any other player,” Xander Bogaerts said. “I think that helps everyone. Good for him, man. He stood out long. He was one of the main guys that stood out, and I’m assuming that he got the deal he wanted.”
Bogaerts is set to hit free agency after the 2019 season, and could command a sizable new deal of his own. In that way, Machado patiently waiting to get a monster deal could help the 26-year-old Boston shortstop sooner rather than later.
The later timing of the deal, coming as players have mostly reported to spring training, is concerning to Mookie Betts, who could become a free agent after the 2020 season. Betts emphasized that Machado is far from the last of the major free agents to ink a new contract, including former Sox closer Craig Kimbrel and outfield slugger Bryce Harper.
“I mean, there’s still a lot more guys out there, so it’s kind of hard to say it’s good when you have one of the best closers in the game still out there and another young guy that’s one of the best in the game, too,” Betts said. “So it’s kind of tough to say it’s good, but I guess it’s somewhat of a step in the right direction.
“It’s not just about me,” he continued. “The guys behind me, you want to do things for them. As players, we’re all kind of one. We play the game. You just have to kind of pass the baton to the next guy and think about their family.”