White Sox have been linked to both top free agents during the Baseball Winter Meetings. Can franchise one of these players to richest deal in team history?
Every day, the possibility of the White Sox signing Bryce Harper seems to be more likely. Dominoes are falling, and every time they do, the Sox chances increase.
If you were to tell me back in May that the Sox we would be one of Harper’s options, I would have called you crazy. In fact, my prediction way back then was that Harper would join forces with Eric Hosmer in San Diego by signing with the San Diego Padres. The Padres are no longer in the run for Harper.
Instead, it’s reportedly down to three teams. The White Sox are one of those three.
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The White Sox are a legitimate possibility for a generational free agent. Even if they were to lose out on Harper, this would still be the farthest they’ve progressed on a big name like this in a very long time. It shows Rick Hahn is willing to do what he has to in order to move the rebuild forward. If you’re a fan that wants Harper, this is very good news.
It doesn’t stop there, either. Not only does Hahn have enough money to spend on both Harper and Manny Machado, but apparently he has the willingness to sign both as well. The White Sox are very heavily linked to Harper, and they are just as high on Machado.
Why am I so confident that the Sox could potentially sign both. Well, all the signs are pointing that way.
News broke on Tuesday that the Philadelphia Phillies, one of the final three teams in the race for Harper, signed former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen to a three-year deal. Harper could still be a possibility for them. Anything can happen, but I’m almost certain they would not be willing to spend $400 million on an outfielder when they now have three.
This pretty much means the Phillies are out of the race.
The third and final team in the race for Harper are the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it’s not necessarily looking realistic for them at this point either.
The Dodgers have to do some rearranging of their team in order to make Harper a legitimate possibility. There have been trade whispers coming out of the Dodgers front office. Players such as Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, and Alex Wood are all floating around in trade rumors.
Gotta love the winter meetings.
So it appears that the Dodgers are at least trying for Harper. However, if we’re being completely serious, it’s not looking like much of a possibility for the Dodgers either.
This leaves one team in the sweepstakes, the good ole Sox.
Unless a mystery team comes out of nowhere, Harper to the Sox could happen. There was recently a “mystery owner” linked to Harper, but this team clearly does not have enough traction on him considering there was nothing else heard of it.
As for Machado? His offseason has actually been somewhat quiet. That can be attributed to the fact that Harper is also still a free agent. Regardless, he is as valuable as Harper, if not more valuable. There are reportedly four teams in the running for Machado. This was revealed by Buster Olney, who tweeted that he would be making four face-to-face visits with four different teams.
There is not a concrete idea of who the four teams are, but there are a couple that we can feel certain about. The White Sox, New York Yankees, and Phillies are very likely three of the four teams as they have all been linked to Machado throughout the offseason.
Though the Yankees are still in the race, they seem like an unlikely outcome as well. That is because of their willingness to spend and what Machado’s agent Dan Lozano is asking for. They are reportedly unwilling to surpass the $300 million mark in negotiations. Acquiring a superstar for anything less than $300 million in today’s game is rather unlikely.
When it comes to the Phillies, it’s the same case as it is with Harper. They just spent a lot of money on McCutchen. This does not ruin the chances of a Machado signing as it would a Harper signing, but it still hurts.
Nothing can be said about the mystery team because we don’t know who they are. Whoever it is, their chances could be as good as anybody’s.
So it’s no secret that the Sox have a very good chance of obtaining either Harper or Machado, possibly even both. Do they have the money to get both? With the third lowest payroll in the league, you bet they do.
Time is the only thing that can tell what will happen in these free agent races. But as of this moment, things are looking good for Hahn and company.
Get excited White Sox fans. Whether the Sox get both, one, or neither, their front office is showing a willingness to spend. By being in on these big names, the Sox are showing that they are willing to spend money to improve the team. They were even linked as recently to Tuesday to free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal. They have an optimism that now is the time to win and they are showing it.
Could either Harper or Machado be apart of the White Sox by the end of the week? It’s very likely.