Machado Watch: Yankees Offer 7-8 Years, $220MM
Like most Sox fans, the (pretty much) only thing that’s been on my mind all offseason is the free agency pursuit of Manny Machado, and to a lesser extent Bryce Harper. While I’ve given up hope on Bryce at this point, I’ve more or less convinced myself Manny is going to be making his home at 35th and Shields for the next 7-10 years.
Whether this may be misguided optimism is another question, but for a while all has looked good on the Manny front. There hasn’t been much noise from other teams (besides the Padres entry a few weeks ago) and it looks more and more like the Phillies are going to get Bryce. This leaves the White Sox as the presumed landing spot for Manny, with the Yankees not showing much interest. And guys like Hector Gomez fanning the flames for the better part of the winter is only growing the anticipation.
All this optimism has been guarded, to say the least. Sure, the biggest Sox contract of all time may be $60 million to Jose Abreu and this will certainly cost close to 4-5 times that amount. And yeah, there are teams closer to winning or already there. But, until now, those doubts have grown quieter and quieter. Until this morning, when I woke up to this bombshell notification.
There it is – the Yankees, a team ready to win now and with plenty of money, striking on a lowball market for Machado. Now, I’ll admit I have no sources in the industry and have no idea how legitimate this is. I have no idea what the Sox offer was either, be it 7 for $175MM or 8 for $240MM, or whatever. But that isn’t the point here.
The real stinger of this news is that one of the following two things is going on:
- Machado doesn’t want to play for the White Sox, no matter the offer. They’ve given him a competitive offer and he just doesn’t want to come to a 100 loss team after playing for the basement dwelling Orioles. Especially after getting a taste at the World Series with the Dodgers last season.
- The White Sox are trying to outlast the market, offering a low ball deal (reportedly 7/$175MM, depending on who you believe). Machado isn’t happy with the offer, and now the door is open for other teams who originally thought they weren’t interested for the value/fit (Yankees) or the cost (Padres).
I can live with number one. I get it, Manny might value winning, no matter how many friends and family we sign. As much as I love this team, I’m realistic. We’re about two seasons from competing, and that might be too long for Machado. While we have the prospects, there are no sure things. In this case, I applaud Rick Hahn, as much as you can in a losing effort. He got to the table, put all his chips on the table, but it just didn’t work. That happens in life. In this case, though, people know the White Sox are serious about this thing. And hey, maybe next year we go get Arenado or another big name.
That being said, I cannot accept number 2. If this is the case, the Sox are trying to wait out a short list of teams with as low an offer as possible for Machado, and another team comes swooping in with $222MM or so? Sox fans should be furious at the front office. I know I will. You have a chacnce here to get a generational talent at 26 years old, a player who can spark not only interest in the fans, but legitimacy to the organization and the rebuild. No one can say Jerry isn’t willing to pay, that narrative would be gone if Machado signs the dotted line. But if you don’t do EVERYTHING in your power to get him? That’s a failure. Plain and simple.
This has been my fear this whole process – that we twiddle our thumbs for two months to try to get a great value for Machado, and then the Padres or Yankees or Phillies or God forbid some mystery team comes in and takes advantage of a slow market. That happening should shake fans’ belief in this front office. I mean, if you’re willing to pay him $175-200MM, in the grand scheme of things what’s the difference in being creative with opt outs to get to $250 total???
Like I said, I have no idea what the actual offers are, I’m just someone who gets their news from the Twitter.com app. I’m hoping this Yankees news is just a leak trying to drive up the cost on Machado by his agent, and by this time next week he’s wearing black and white and booking his flight to Camelback Ranch for Spring Training.
We as Sox fans have waited over 10 years at this point for a playoff berth. We’ve been preached at about patience, trusting the process, and believing in the prospects, all that. Rick Hahn is a folk hero on the South Side due to hope, not results. We’ve played our parts, now it’s the team’s turn: Show Manny Machado the GD money Jerry and get this thing done!