The offseason’s main events have been swallowed up by an event horizon, but after months of a news cycle that occasionally turns hours into minutes only to stretch them into weeks, Major League Baseball may finally be arriving at some kind of closure with its two marquee free agents.
Both Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Todd Zolecki at MLB.com said the Phillies are laying track to sign Bryce Harper after a productive Saturday in Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas. Nightengale’s USA Today story goes further than the house organ, calling Philadelphia the “clear-cut favorite” for Harper’s services.
The fun thing about a thorough Harper-Phillies story is that it’s intrinsically a thorough White Sox-Manny Machado story. The Phillies and Sox are apparently the only identifiable teams with the resources and desire to throw $200 million or more at the offseason’s best free agents, and Nightengale’s characterization of the events suggests a conclusion by elimination. With the Nationals supposedly out on Harper and the Yankees signing D.J. LeMahieu to address the infield gap, that basically leaves one marquee talent apiece for Sox and Phils.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have focused their attention this past month on Machado, offering him a contract for about $200 million. They also traded for his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, and signed his close friend, Jon Jay. Their optimism is also growing, believing that if the Phillies sign Harper, they might be the only true remaining suitor for Machado.
After the reports from Las Vegas dropped into the picture, Jeff Passan filled out the White Sox’ side with their Machado pursuit:
Manny Machado is sitting on an eight-year offer from the Chicago White Sox and is still engaged with the Philadelphia Phillies while their pursuit of Bryce Harper grew stronger with an in-person meeting in Las Vegas over the weekend, league sources told ESPN.
Eight years? $200 million? Both seem well short of what seemed necessary to land Machado, and both figures still may be. I suppose it’s commendable that the White Sox are avoiding the Baltimore/Chris Davis trap of bidding against themselves, but this remains such a strange way to approach the end of a landmark deal for a team with no natural advantages. Those in the Sox’ position usually have stepped up with offers the stars can’t refuse, so when it’s merely an offer Machado may as well take, it seems like it’s begging to get blown up before they cross the finish line.
Then again, maybe the $200 million/eight years is as far as the White Sox have been pushed to go as Machado seeks other suitors or one-year deals to take another run at the market as a 27-year-old, even though the qualifying offer isn’t a factor (corrected).
Basically, no matter how you twist it, it seems like Machado’s most sensible landing spot in Chicago, but it’s playing out like a terrible romcom. The question is whether the White Sox have been The One for Machado this whole time and he just needed to realize it … oooorrrrr the drip Machado is about to settle for before somebody more appealing and recognizable has an epiphany and swoops in.
Here’s hoping for a happy ending, even if the path to it as tortured and terrible as, say, “Serendipity.” Just like with the acquisition of Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay, all’s well that ends well. Then again, if this story line lasts a few weeks longer, it might just be all’s well that ends at all.
Hector Gomez and Scott Merkin were saying its 8 years 250… which I think makes more sense. This is a dream scenario for the sox unfolding, getting a 26 year old super star on a relatively cheap deal to jump start the rebuild.
250 and 8 years is a steal. But whatever the case, I am hoping to watch the last episode of this “romcom” as Jim puts it. And soon.
And then their offseason can begin
It’s all in the chase, Jim. It’s all in the chase.
If he signs, he will strike out in his first game and people will start to yell that he is an overpaid bum.
And in his second at-bat, he’ll hit a grounder to short, run to first with insufficient hustle, and be benched. All will be dour.
And that’s just a Spring Training intrasquad.
Spring Training games in five weeks! Gadzooks!
“Yeah, I know.”
-Every unsigned free agent not named Machado or Harper, right before taking a swig from a flask and staring disconsolately into the middle distance.
Ah, but he’ll be our overpaid bum.
truth, but lets take it!!!!!!!
Lots of ifs here, but lets speculate. An 8 year deal, somewhat front loaded, would be really interesting in how it would impact opt outs.
Let’s say the first two years of the deal pay Manny $80m, so the last 6 would be for $170m… depending on how that structured, the opt out might not come until after 2023, where Manny at 32 would be able to enter FA again. The Sox will have paid him ~$170-175m over 5 years. At that point Moncada, Lopez, and Giolito will all be UFAs also (unless they sign an extension/assuming Giolito stops sucking obviously), the Sox will only have a year of control left with Anderson (assuming team options are picked up). Everyone else will start becoming expensive.
Again, I’m putting the horse in front of the cart, but this seems to make sense, pay Manny more now, push out the first opt out a year or two in the process, then have everyone get expensive at the same time… and either start the next rebuild/pay the men their money.
If they are rebuilding again in 4 years that would be a massive failure. Theoretically revenues should get larger as the team gets competitive.
Contracts might not allow for more than a 5 year window.
Plus, they’d have managed to flub another decade’s worth of drafts and international signings.
Considering the Sox drafts and international signings… safe bet!
All’s well that ends well — or Machado about nothing…..
But will he perform to justify the contract? The play’s the thing.
He’s been a 6+ WAR player 3 of the last 4 years. Even if he plays at half that level he’ll be one of the Sox best players.
All that glitters is not gold glove defense.
GrinnellSteve’s comment is underrated while we are waiting for a young man with power to make a decision.
I’ve always wanted an underrated comment. Thanks!
Your face is an underrated comment
Your face, my thane, is as a comment where men
May read strange matters
And they often do!
A Jared Mitchell comment in another thread, and my favorite comeback. Gee, I miss you guys.
So several reports have Sox at 8 years, with one at 8/$250M. Nightengale insists the Sox have not budged on 7 years, and have not revisited their offer of a few weeks ago. Who do you believe? I can’t believe the Sox haven’t revisited their offer from a few weeks ago. That would be stupid.
I’d probably read the 8 year offer as Machado’s team trying to goose the market and Nightengale’s report as the Sox trying to keep the Phillies or someone else from going too far over the top.
Ah but it being stupid is precisely why I believe it
If they don’t get Machado after all this, all hell will break loose at Soxfest.
At this point, it seems possible Machado could remain unsigned when SoxFest rolls around.
Maybe the Sox are giving Machado’s agent a way to save face by saying they will not go more than 7 years. When they get the 8y/$256M the agent looks like he got a better deal than was offered. It’s a win for the Sox too in that they don’t “look cheap.” Negotiations are all about appearances.
Here’s the one thing I don’t get in all this. The Phillies were supposedly more enamored with Machado than Harper from the outset. If the Sox’ offer of 7 yrs/$200ish mil is so low, why haven’t the Phillies just come over the top with a better offer to get the guy they so clearly wanted in the first place? It’s not like the Sox’ offer is hard to beat.
Yeah, you’re right. There is so much misinformation being put out there. Just get it over with already and sign him.
honestly i think its a bit overplayed how willing teams are to give out 300m contracts. its never been done before outside of stanton and the owner didnt even care since he knew he was selling the team, he only ended up paying him around like 30 million in the 3 years marlins had him on that contract… with that put out the window the arod 10 year 275 is still largest ever so a contract for machado say in the 200-250 for all suitors doesnt surprise me… i feel like media just pumped it up so much for years that people now think 300 is what it has to be to get him
I honestly don’t think anybody has a clue how much has been offered and how many years.
If there ever was a time that a team can justify a bit of an overpay, it’s the Sox right now with Machado. Outside of one season of Frazier, third base has been a black hole for the White Sox since Crede. And even then he alternated between good and bad seasons. They have the chance right now to solidify that position with star production right as their rebuild comes to a crest. Anyone they draft will be at least 3 years away. Burger is far from a sure thing. And who knows if Arenado or Rendon will actually hit the market or what the competition in that market might look like.
Meet the man halfway. Make sure the black and white are the only pinstripes he’s wearing in 2019.
Promo schedule is out.
April 6 hoodie
May the 4th R2D2 bobblehead
May 30th Go Go Sox t-shirt
Going to have to suffer for at least 2 of the prizes, though.
That Hawaiian shirt is an even bigger disaster than usual.
Are you kidding me? That Hawaiian shirt is amazing.
That is atrocious
I would never wear that thing
Sitting alone, in a cabin, in the North woods drinking cheap Spanish Red wine, you could be buck naked. Who’d know?
Typical weeknight for you, OPOS.
Avi to the Rays. See ya:
Maybe this is their way of wooing Matt Davidson.