White Sox chances of signing one of the top free agents this offseason continues to improve after recent signing.
The long-awaited Manny Machado sweepstakes may finally be nearing a conclusion. At least with spring training five weeks away, Bryce Harper and Machado are running out of time for their decision. And Machado’s decision may very well be to sign with the White Sox.
We know that there are only three teams that have been in on the sweepstakes, the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and White Sox. Initially, I thought he would sign with the Yankees, my reasoning being that the team has a history of getting whomever they covet. But that hasn’t been true since like 2009.
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Since Hal Steinbrenner took over as owner, things haven’t been the same, as the Yankees missed out on Shohei Ohtani and failed to re-sign Robinson Cano. After Alex Rodriguez’s bad contract that ran from 2008-2017, the Yankees have been hesitant to give too long of contracts and they seem mostly content with the left side of their infield for now. Not to mention that Friday, the team announced the signing of DJ LeMahieu. This gives them more than enough infield options.
This leaves the main competition for Machado between the Phillies and the White Sox. The Phillies don’t need Machado as bad as the White Sox do. With last year’s third overall pick Alec Bohm, the Phillies already have a third baseman for the future. What they really need is a stopgap like Mike Moustakas who could hold down the position until Bohm is ready. After all, the Phillies have never gone wrong with power-hitting third basemen named Mike.
Machado, on the other hand, fits the Sox need for a long-term third basemen as they haven’t had one since Joe Crede. Otherwise, the White Sox don’t have a third baseman of the future, with Jake Burger‘s health (and subsequent development) very questionable.
Yoan Moncada could be moved there, but any thinking person would bet more on Machado’s future at this point in time. The Phillies also may prefer Harper, whom they along with the Nationals are the front-runners for at this point, with the Sox a distant third.
For their credit, the Sox have reportedly offered the best contract, have lots of money to spend, and have multiple sources saying they are where Machado is leaning. Manny himself has given hints that may be where things are headed.
At this point, I’d give a 40-50 percent chance the White Sox land Machado and a 10 percent chance they land Harper. That means there is a 4-5 percent chance they land both of them. Pretty unlikely, but feel free to dream.