The San Diego Padres have inked Manny Machado to the biggest free-agent contract in the Major League Baseball history.
Machado signed a 10 year, $300 million ($420m AUD) contract on Wednesday.
The massive deal eclipsed the previous high mark, the 10-year, $275 million ($384m AUD) contract signed by Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees in 2007.
Machado, 26, was drafted in 2010 by the Baltimore Orioles, before a brief stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of last season.
The shortstop has attracted some degree of controversy throughout his career to date, including a number of divisive moments last season.
He failed to run hard to first base several times in October, once potentially costing him a double. He kicked the foot of Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, seemingly on purpose, in the NLCS. Questions to him about the apparent lack of hustle or dangerous play generally were met with indifference.
This kid is pretty happy Manny Machado isn't a Yankee 😂
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) February 19, 2019
Despite this, Machado is considered one of the bona-fide stars of the MLB.
A four-time All Star, he has averaged 35 home runs over the last four seasons.
The Padres, who spent big in free agency last year as well, will be hoping the 26-year-old will be able to lift them out of mediocrity.
The contract has driven the club’s annual payroll above $100m for the second time in their history – a clear statement of intent from the front office.
To say Machado is a controversial character within the ranks of the MLB would be an understatement.
The massive contract was, predictably, a talking point on social media.
Manny Machado = $300 million
One .300 season
One 100+ RBI season
One top-10 WAR season
Never hit 40 homers
Never stolen more than 20 bases
Good luck, San Diego!
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) February 19, 2019
Manny Machado drowning in those money bags with 0 winning expectations pic.twitter.com/F7qokH6tH6
— WTP Sports (@WTPsports) February 19, 2019
I'll dye my hair pink if Manny Machado goes to the Padres.
— 𝚂𝚝𝚊𝚌𝚎 𝙾𝚍𝚍𝚒𝚝𝚢 (@StaceGots) February 17, 2019
Based on the Manny Machado news, we've updated the San Diego Padres odds to win the World Series
— The Greek Sportsbook (@BetTheGreek) February 19, 2019
Expectations will be high for the Padres, who have traditionally not been one of the league’s heavy hitting teams.
According to other reports, the team has not ruled out splashing even more cash for another free agent, Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 19, 2019