White Sox: Response to Manny Machado Signing With San Diego
By Matt Cizek
Manny Machado spurned the White Sox to sign for more guaranteed money with the Padres. Here’s my response to the aftermath.
On Tuesday, the mood among White Sox fans was definitely more funeral like than jubilant. With the news that Manny Machado had signed with San Diego, it’s fair to say that White Sox fans felt a range of emotions. Few were happy, some were angry, most were shocked. In any case, here are a few thoughts in response to the saga that was the chase to see where Machado would sign.
- Hey, at least it’s over!
Granted, if the Sox had received Machado, most would say it was worth the patience. Still, more than once over the last few weeks a meme of an annoyed looking Robert Downey Jr. crossing his arms with the caption “Just Sign It Already!” has come to mind. If “It” represents Machado and Harper’s new contracts, a lot of fans have reached that level of impatience.
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Neither Harper nor Machado wanted to sign first, likely because it would draw interest away from them which – by definition – can give the other talent better offers or more opportunities. Still, to a lot of fans, it’s February! Time to play ball.
2. The Sox didn’t pay Machado $300 million up front, but he could’ve had much more.
According to several sources, the White Sox were willing to offer Machado an eight-year, $250 million dollar contract of guaranteed money. Annually, that’s $1.25 million more than Machado will be making in San Diego, though obviously with two fewer years and a big $50 million spot left on the table. The White Sox are getting a lot of angry fan reactions from not spending more money, but what’s interesting is that Machado had the potential to make more money in the long run.
According to Ken Rosenthal:
In other words, while the White Sox were already willing to offer Machado a lot of money, they were even willing to give him more – they just wanted to be cautious about it. Can you blame them for wanting to protect their investment a little bit?
With a lower payroll than most in baseball, it did look like the White Sox were willing to spend big this offseason. Still, they have a rebuild in the works – they need to protect some money for the sake of those younger players if nothing else.
3. Impact on the Padres.
Without argument, the Padres are the winner coming out of this. They now have a very talented lineup featuring not only Machado but also Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, among others. They also have one of the most talented farm systems in baseball, coming in at no.1 last year according to one writer.
However, this also saddles them with one particular question – how are you going to keep all of those players together for the long term? On a small market team like San Diego, that’s already a question mark. Now – with the guaranteed money Machado will be making – how is the Padres front office planning to address that question?
There are plenty of examples of high profile free agent signings working out, but there are also plenty of examples of the opposite. Ask longtime Texas Rangers fans if their team’s signing of Alex Rodriguez worked out?
4. Who comes out looking good for the White Sox? Tim Anderson!
With Moncada moving to third base and Sanchez to second base, it would appear that Tim Anderson had the most to lose with Machado’s signing. While the competitive team player in him likely would’ve taken it in stride, one would think there has to be some relief from Anderson, who was more vocal recently.
When asked if he was ready to put the Manny Machado saga behind him, Anderson emphatically stated, “F**k yeah, maybe you all [the media] can stop asking me now.”
Though he didn’t come across as angry or bitter, Anderson seemed ready to move on:
"” ‘[W]e’re going to keep rolling. You know, you can ride with us or don’t. … We couldn’t care less who’s on the boat with us. We know who all is on the boat with us and we know which way we’re going to sail.”"
5. Regardless of the Machado outcome, there’s still a lot of hope to be had.
Yes, after all of the talk and anticipation, not signing Machado feels like a shot to the gut. On top of that, with the knowledge that their rebuild may be slightly delayed due to Michael Kopech‘s injury, it can be easy to have a grim outlook on this upcoming season.
However, when you’re rebuilding and coming off of a 100 loss season, there’s still a lot of room for upward mobility. It seems unlikely that the White Sox will take the league by storm this year, and even more unlikely that they’ll pull off a “worst to first” season, but they can certainly continue their rebuild and play some better baseball.