Manny Machado’s free agency is done. He supposedly has marked a 10-year, $300-million contract with the Padres.
The news broke amid Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s press conference Tuesday. . WEEI’s Lou Merloni, who is here in Fort Myers, made the director mindful of the deal.
“Good for the kid, man. Good for the kid,” Cora said. “Good for baseball. Good for baseball.”
Cora stopped and afterward he included,“Wow, good for him. … Wow, you shocked me right there. (Eric) Hosmer, Manny, (Fernando) Tatis (Jr.). (GM) A.J. (Preller) has got all this talent in the minor leagues. So you never know where they go now. We play them, huh?”
The Red Sox play the Padres in San Diego Aug. 23-25.
Top free agents Bryce Harper, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel still stay unsigned.
“There’s still a lot more guys out there,” Mookie Betts said. “It’s good (the Machado signing) but when you have one of the best closers in the game and another young guy who’s one of the best in the game, too. So it’s kind of tough to say it’s good but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Betts has said before negotiating an extension isn’t simple. But could Betts be a little more receptive to listening to what the Red Sox have to say now that Machado has established the market?
“No, no,” Betts said. “It’s still tough to do. I mean, it took this long for kind of this to go down. So it just shows that it’s tough to do. And there’s still a lot of guys out there. So it’s obviously not easy and just got to focus on what’s going on right now.”
It seems almost certain Betts will elect for free agency. His next contract isn’t just about Mookie Betts.
“It’s not just about me,” Betts said. “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.”
Betts said he and Machado are different players.
“Obviously it’s a different time,” he added. “And I don’t want to speak on anyone else’s free agency. Just got to worry about my own.”
Cora added about Machado, “He’s a good player, man. I know he had some issues with the organization a few years ago, whatever. But he is from the area (Miami). I actually know him. He’s what? 26. I guess he got what he wanted. I think that’s good for baseball.”
The issue: Machado spiked Pedroia in the knee sliding into a respectable halfway point in Baltimore on April 21, 2017. Matt Barnes threw in the area of Machado’s head two days after the slide, earning the reliever a four-game suspension.
Chris Sale hit Machado with a pitch the next series between the two teams at Fenway Park.