The Chicago White Sox offered highly-coveted free agent shortstop Manny Machado an eight-year deal worth $200 million, which is lower than Machado’s quote for a ten-year deal worth $300 million.
With the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, Machado hit .297 last season with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs. Over his career, Machado hit .282 with 513 homeruns in only six seasons.
Machado is seeking a deal in the $300 million territory. However, according to a report from ESPN, the White Sox offered an eight-year deal in the $200 million range.
Is Machado, 26, worth $25 million per season or $30 million? That is what is on the minds of White Sox fans in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.
The White Sox already made moves to acquire Machado’s best friend and brother-in-law. They signed outfielder Jon Jay and traded for first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Cleveland Indians.
The Phillies are also in play. They have the money and the desire to make a run for the NL East crown the next couple of seasons.
However, with the White Sox negotiating with Machado, it appears that the Phillies have the inside track to signing Harper after a long face-to-face meeting in Las Vegas. The Phillies met with Harper and his agent, the infamous Scott Boras during a five-hour meeting. GM John Middleton was quoted as saying they’d be opening the checkbook to sign free agents and “Maybe even be a little stupid about it.”
Then there’s this mysterious third team that has been mention in the press. It could be a negotiating tactic from Macho’s agent, or another team could legitimately seek Machado’s services. The Cincinnati Reds, Oakland As, and Cleveland Indians seem like the logical choices for a potential third party.
The Yankees seem like the obvious choice, but they’re long shots. GM Brian Cashman mentioned the Yankees were loaded in the outfield and not pursuing Bryce Harper. However, Didi Gregorious will be out recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Yankees made other moves to replace their hole at shortstop by signing Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu.
Rolling the Dice with Harper
The Washington Nationals are a distant long shot to re-sign Bryce Harper. He rejected offers to stay in DC before the season ended. The Phillies have been aggressively pursuing both Machado and Bryce Harper. The White Sox also made a strong play for Bruce Harper with an in-person meeting over the weekend in Las Vegas.
Machado and Harper are two of the best free agents to hit the market in several years. The fact they have yet to be signed two weeks into 2019 is indicative of how cautious general managers are this offseason.
Several other GMs have been aggressive, such as Jerry Dipoto from the Seattle Mariners. Even when he was hospitalized in Las Vegas during winter meetings, Dipoto dealt players from his hospital bed. Dipoto shipped flamethrower James Paxton to the New York Yankees and sent his top reliever Edwin Diaz and all-star Robinson Cano to the New York Mets.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Yankees are 11-2 favorites to win the 2019 World Series. The Phillies are 15-1 odds and the White Sox are 30-1 odds.