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MLB players’ union head says Manny Machado’s deal doesn’t mean system is working

Infielder Manny Machado has agreed to a $300 million, 10-year deal with the rebuilding San Diego Padres, the biggest contract ever for a free agent. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, because the agreement was subject to a successful physical and had not been announced. | Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. — Players’ union head Tony Clark is guarding against drawing any conclusions about the free-agent market based on Manny Machado’s contract and says Adam Wainwright’s recent comments about a possible strike were in line with the level of concern he hears from the pitcher’s colleagues.

Clark met with the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, starting his spring training tour as several top players still look for teams.

While Machado is nearing finalization of a $300 million, 10-year deal with the San Diego Padres, Clark says that doesn’t mean the system is working. Clark, a former All-Star first baseman says he is “curious” why it took so long.

Clark also says Wainwright’s recent comments about players walking out in the middle of the season “were reflective of the level of concern that exists and the interest as much as anything else.” But he says players will honor the current collective bargaining agreement that runs through the 2021 season.