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Manny Machado timeline: Big talent with a little attitude

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Few players have more talent than Machado (2:03)

Tim Kurkjian reflects on Manny Machado's amazing skill set and his on-field controversies as he joins the Padres on a $300 million contract. (2:03)

An unquestionable talent with a questionable attitude, Manny Machado hit it big in free agency, signing a reported 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres.

Here's a look at the first seven years of his career:

2019: Scoring the big deal

It took months longer than anticipated, but Machado's first foray into free agency landed him with one of the teams that generated the least attention in its pursuit of the star infielder. San Diego didn't generate as much anticipation as rumors that Machado would choose the Phillies or even the White Sox, but ultimately he stayed on the same coast he was traded to last summer after the Orioles dealt him to the Dodgers.

Career trend in five words: Going where he wants to.

2018: Walking a tightrope

While his talent is undeniable, Machado didn't exactly enter the market on a positive note. In the course of the postseason alone, he was called out for being a dirty player, admitted he didn't always hustle (and proved it on the field) and shrugged off the wave of criticism that came his way. Meanwhile, he hit just .227 with a .672 OPS in 16 playoff games.

The most dubious plays came in Games 3 and 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Brewers. In Game 3, Machado made two questionable slides into second base, with arms extended; one was ruled a violation of the slide rule. The next day, Machado kicked Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar in the leg as he crossed the bag, leading both benches to empty.

Machado also took some heat for not running out of the box at times and saying in a TV interview that he's "not the type of player that's going to Johnny Hustle and run down the line and slide to first base."

Despite the self-inflicted hits to his reputation, Machado had his best season at the plate, setting career highs in batting average (.297), slugging (.538), OPS (.905), RBIs (107) and matched his career high with 37 home runs. He also showed he could play shortstop adequately, moving there from third base for the bulk of the season.

Career trend in five words: Talent trumps tantrums, trouble, right?

2017: 'It's never me'

Not a great season for Machado with career lows in batting average (.259) and OBP (.310), although he did have 33 homers and 95 RBIs.

Machado also renewed his rivalry with an old foe, the Boston Red Sox. On April 21, Machado spiked second baseman Dustin Pedroia on a late slide, with Pedroia leaving the game. Machado helped Pedroia up and Pedroia absolved Machado of any malice, but the Red Sox, likely with past incidents in mind, didn't like seeing one of their leaders limping off the field. Two games later, Sox pitchers brushed back Machado more than once, with Matt Barnes missing high and tight, earning him an ejection. Machado didn't like it.

"I think everyone already knows out there that they think I'm the villain," he said. "It's always me -- 'Manny always does something wrong.' You know, it's never me. I just go out there and play a game that I love and leave it on the field."

The following month, Red Sox ace Chris Sale threw a pitch behind Machado's knees, prompting a postgame, obscenity-laced tirade by Machado about the Red Sox and the league office's lack of action.

Career trend in five words: Not an overall good look

2016: Steady as he goes

A third All-Star appearance and a fifth-place finish in American League MVP voting kept Machado's star on the rise. He hit .294 with 37 home runs, 96 RBIs, a .533 slugging percentage and .876 OPS, all career highs at the time, with a 6.9 WAR.

Machado again was at the center of controversy when he charged the mound throwing punches after being hit on the hip by Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura. The tension started earlier in the game when Ventura threw inside on Machado a few times before Machado hit a fly ball to left. Thinking he had a home run, Machado stood and watched the ball, which was blown back into play and was caught for an out. The two exchanged words before Machado went to the dugout.

Ventura was the primary culprit this time, but Machado's temper (and reputation) cost him a four-game suspension at a time he was leading the AL in WAR and the Orioles were in a tight race for the division lead. It also ended his streak of 229 consecutive starts.

Career trend in five words: Consistency, for better and worse

2015: Everything comes together

Machado's breakout season with a career-best 7.1 WAR, 35 home runs (previous high was 14), a .286/.359/.502 slash line, 20 stolen bases and his second Gold Glove as his penchant for spectacular plays drew comparisons to Orioles legend Brooks Robinson.

Machado also was the only player in baseball to play all 162 games after missing half of the previous season with a knee injury. It all earned him a fourth-place finish in the MVP voting (behind Josh Donaldson, Mike Trout and Lorenzo Cain).

Career trend in five words: As good as it gets

2014: Temper, temper

Offseason knee surgery delayed the start to Machado's season until May 1, then he injured the other knee in August, requiring season-ending surgery. The injuries limited Machado to 82 games, and he missed Baltimore's run to the AL Championship Series.

That didn't prevent Machado from having his most bizarre incident during a series against Oakland. On June 7, Machado took issue with a tag applied by A's third baseman Josh Donaldson, slamming his helmet to the ground and jawing with Donaldson, sparking both benches to empty. The next night, Machado irked the A's when he hit catcher Derek Norris with his backswing twice without apologizing.

In the series finale, A's reliever Fernando Abad threw a pair of brushback pitches at Machado, and after the second, Machado flung his bat, which wound up behind third base. That brought another bench-clearing brawl and a five-game suspension for Machado, who later apologized for his actions.

Career trend in five words: Negative vibes start showing signs

2013: All-around star

Machado blossomed in his first full season, making his first All-Star team, winning a Gold Glove at third base and leading the American League with 51 doubles to go with 14 home runs, .283 average, .746 OPS and 6.5 WAR.

He was the second player in MLB history with 50 doubles in his age-20 season or younger (joining Alex Rodriguez, 54 in 1996) and finished ninth in the AL MVP voting. The only downside was that Machado's season ended a couple of weeks early because of a torn knee ligament that required surgery.

Career trend in five words: Headed in the right direction

2012: Immediate impact

After being drafted third overall by the Orioles in 2010 (behind Bryce Harper and Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon) out of Brito Miami Private School, Machado made his major league debut Aug. 9 at age 20.

Machado, who hit .262 with seven home runs, 26 RBIs and a .739 OPS in 51 games, made the postseason roster and homered in Game 3 of the AL Division Series against the Yankees. At 20 years and 96 days, he was the third-youngest player with a postseason home run (Andruw Jones, 1996, 19 years and 177 days; Harper, 2012, 19 years and 362 days).

Career trend in five words: Ready for the big stage