White Sox: Rick Hahn should pursue Manny Machado
As rebuilds go, the White Sox are getting closer to the point where a few veterans could make the team a bit more interesting. The 2019 free-agent class is filled with franchise-player veterans.
And, as the White Sox get ready to pursue a few veterans, Rick Hahn should go for Manny Machado.
Machado is not without his faults, but his positive traits outweigh all of the bad. Yes, I saw his two controversial slides at second and I saw him try to take out Jesus Aguilar. Keep in mind that Milwaukee is the home of the nicest fans on the planet. I’ve been to Miller Park and it’s way friendlier than any other “friendly confines” in the MLB. So, a bad guy is going to be really bad in Milwaukee.
Since when have the White Sox cared about being nice guys?
The last time I checked, Avisail Garcia is on the team. Didn’t Tim Anderson break one of the “unwritten rules” when he taunted Justin Verlander? *Cough, cough* … A.J. Pierzynski.
Machado can play baseball. He’s an outstanding left-side infielder, and he is phenomenal at the plate. He is so good in the outfield that he earned a Platinum Glove in 2013 – only one player in each league earns this honor. On top of that, he’s a two-time Gold Glove winner, and he’s a four-time All-Star. And, at age 25, he’s been in the league for seven years.
In comparison, in the last seven years, only one White Sox left-side infielder was named an All-Star: Alexei Ramirez in 2014. That season he hit .273/.305/.408. He also won a Silver Slugger. In 2014, Machado had knee surgery and missed half of the season. In that 2014 season, Ramirez hit 15 home runs in 158 games. In the 82 games Machado played in 2014, he hit 12 home runs – granted Machado was at third base that season.
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Machado can play third and short making both positions look easy. His arm is an absolute canon. Yes, Anderson had a record-setting season, but it wasn’t like Machado’s. Anderson hit 20 home runs and stole 26 bases. He also recorded 64 RBI, 28 doubles, and 3 triples. Machado only stole 14 bases, but hit 37 home runs, 35 doubles, 3 triples, and 107 RBI.
Even in Machado’s worst year (2017), he still hit 33 home runs and managed 95 RBI. In 2018, Daniel Palka hit the most home runs for the Sox – 27. And, Jose Abreu had the most RBI – 78. So, in his worst year, he still had better stats that any ChiSox did in 2018.
Who wouldn’t want THAT guy on their team?
So, he plays a little dirty. He wins. And, he brings fans to the seats. I enjoy watching Tim Anderson and Carlos Sanchez, but do they sell tickets like Machado does? No. Along with putting butts in the seats, he also sells jerseys. While his recent jersey sales haven’t been the hottest, in earlier years, he was regularly in the top 10 in the MLB (my teenage son has one). You can bet his Dodger jersey will be a favorite after his post-season performance.
Prior to playing for the Dodgers, Machado was one of the few reasons why the Baltimore Orioles had fans in the seats. If you saw any Orioles games after Machado’s trade, the seats at Camden Yards were practically empty – except when the Yankees or Red Sox were in town. I’ve paid for tickets to see Machado come to town. The guy is entertaining and he can play.
It’s highly unlikely that Machado would even consider coming to Chicago – unless the Cubs wanted him. But, for the right price, players will wear any uniform (although I doubt Machado’s former teammate Adam Jones would go to the Red Sox – but that’s an entirely different story). If Rick Hahn were able to woo Machado, White Sox fans could quickly and easily get used to him.