White Sox current shortstop not willing to relinquish his spot as a starter in the event his team can sign another free agent infielder.
Current White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is well aware of his team’s efforts to sign Manny Machado this offseason. Machado is coming off a season where he primarily played shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers.
With Machado’s potential signing by the Sox looming, Anderson expressed his thoughts on potentially playing another position other than shortstop. Machado wasn’t a better defender at shortstop last season than when he primarily played third base in 2017. And Anderson actually played much better defensively as a shortstop in 2018.
If Machado were to sign with the Sox, he could likely take over as the starting shortstop or possibly start at third base. According to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic (subscription required), Anderson isn’t just going to give Machado his starting shortstop duties. Anderson mentioned he wouldn’t think there would be any awkwardness by Machado signing with the Sox, but he’s at shortstop to stay at that position.
"“I’m not just going to give him shortstop. I’m not just going to bow to him. That’s my position. So, don’t just ‘X’ me out yet at shortstop. I’ve taken some crazy strides and I’ve been working, so you can’t give up on me yet. I get it; it’s a business. But I’m not just going to give shortstop up and be like, ‘Here you go. It’s yours!’ Know what I mean? I’ve worked too hard. It’s mine. It’s mine until somebody takes it.” Tim Anderson"
If Machado were to sign with the Sox, it doesn’t appear he will likely demand to be the team’s starting shortstop. If recent reports are to be believed, Machado already expressed to the Sox that he would be willing to play wherever the team needed him. That’s important for a Sox team with a young shortstop in Anderson.
Anderson is coming off an impressive season defensively as the Sox shortstop. After committing a league-high in errors in 2017, Anderson had a good season at shortstop for the Sox in 2018. He cut down his errors from 28 in 2017 to 20 in 2018 and had a career-high fielding percentage of .967. Machado could prefer to play shortstop, but Anderson doesn’t appear to be ready to relinquish his spot with the Sox anytime soon.