White Sox rumored interest in acquiring the two top free agents this offseason hasn’t been met with much optimism from fans. Can Jerry actually spend big?
The White Sox have never signed a player to a contract worth more than $68 million. With the current offseason underway, the Sox have already been rumored to have expressed interest in signing two players that will undoubtedly shatter this franchise’s record for player contracts.
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are both 26 years old and are the top two free agents in this year’s class. The Sox are coming off a 100-loss season with a lot of holes to fill before next season. However, the Sox aren’t known for signing free agents in the caliber of Harper or Machado.
The fact the Sox are rumored to even have interest in signing both players should be encouraging to most fans. Alas, not many fans are buying into the hype. The common reason, they believe Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf won’t outbid other teams to sign Harper or Machado, let alone both players.
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Sox fans could be expressing pessimism because the team hasn’t signed a player with a contract worth more than $68 million. Although that is the case, Sox general manager Rick Hahn stated just before the end of this past season that the team would make additions when the time was right. The time appears to be right now for the Sox.
Reinsdorf might not have signed any players in the past anywhere close to a contract worth $100 million or more but the Sox have never been in this better of a position to add quality players this quickly in any part of their rebuild. Adding Harper or Machado could help accelerate the Sox process into becoming contenders.
"“I think the moves over the past year-plus reinforced our words and have put us in a position to have a very bright future. When it comes time to add to what we’ve accumulated or continue this process, it’s going to be with the vision of putting ourselves in the position to contend for multiple championships. In the end, that’s what’s going to be more important — the ability to win championships than send messages.” Rick Hahn"
While many Sox fans might not think Reinsdorf won’t spend big to acquire free agents this offseason, it has to be stated that this team hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2008 and they’ve lost a lot of market share to the Cubs over the past few years. With the Cubs not only winning a World Series in 2016 but attracting a lot more casual fans, you have to think that Reinsdorf will want this Sox team to become competitive again sooner rather than later.
The Sox have a good opportunity to make some quick additions to their team through major acquisitions of talented players. Many fans might not have faith in Reinsdorf but signs are pointing towards the team being very competitive in attempting to sign one or both of the top two free agents this offseason.
If the Sox are devoted to putting forth the best team possible to become annual contenders, they won’t waste an opportunity to make the team better. It’s easy for fans to not have any faith in the front office to acquire premier free agents but this offseason could be the year where the Sox don’t hold back and splurge on signing players. Anything is possible.