It’s no secret that the Chicago White Sox are interested in Manny Machado, and some of the team’s players were happy to take up the recruiting pitch at the team’s fanfest.
White Sox first baseman Yonder Alonso — who also happens to be Machado’s brother-in-law — FaceTimed Machado during the opening ceremonies of SoxFest on Friday and joined Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu in making a pitch for the star infielder to come play in Chicago.
Alonso FaceTimed Machado during #SoxFest2019 opening ceremonies w/Abreu & Moncada. Yoan says at seminar they told him how much they wanted him & need him. Machado was getting ready to play golf. Added we’d like you here & if you can make that happen, we’d be glad. #WhiteSox
— Ryan McGuffey (@RyanMcGuffey) January 27, 2019
There has been some speculation that the White Sox acquired Alonso to try to sweeten the pot for Machado. They certainly can’t have any complaints about his recruiting efforts, though it doesn’t seem that Machado is close to finding a landing place at this time.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox are among the teams pursuing Manny Machado in free agency, but both teams have a backup plan in mind if they don’t land the former Baltimore Orioles infielder.
According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, both Philly and the White Sox view Mike Moustakas as a backup option if they can’t sign Machado. Moustakas is represented by agent Scott Boras, who also counts Bryce Harper as a client, making it easy for both teams to keep in touch about Moustakas.
Moustakas was seeking a multi-year deal last year, but one to his liking never materialized, so he signed a two-year deal with the Royals that included an option for 2019. Moustakas was traded to Milwaukee during the season, and he turned down his 2019 option to become a free agent for the second straight year.
After making just $5.5 million last season — a disappointment for him — Moustakas is looking for more. The 30-year-old third baseman batted .251 with 28 homers and 33 doubles last season and had a .774 OPS.
The Chicago White Sox are waiting to see whether they will be able to sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper to a massive contract this offseason, and they made a move to bolster their bullpen in the meantime on Monday.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the White Sox have signed reliever Kelvin Herrera to a two-year deal with a vesting option for a third year.
Reliever Kelvin Herrera and the Chicago White Sox are in agreement on a two-year, $18 million deal with a vesting third-year option, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2019
Herrera dealt with a shoulder injury and a foot injury last season that limited him to just 21 appearances after he was traded to the Washington Nationals in mid-June. He had a 1.05 ERA in 27 appearances with the Kansas City Royals prior to the trade, and his career 2.82 ERA reflects how he has been dominant for stretches in recent years.
While injuries are obviously a concern, Herrera will only be 29 on Opening Day. He should be one of the more solid relievers in baseball if healthy to start the year.
The list of potential suitors for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper seems to have dwindled a bit, and the bidding war for the latter may be a two-team race at this point.
While the Washington Nationals have indicated they do not expect Harper to be back with the team next season, it’s hard to separate truth from posturing at this point in the MLB offseason. On Thursday, a report — one that may have very well been planted by Harper’s agent Scott Boras — claimed the Nationals are still trying to re-sign Harper and have offered him well over $300 million. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports said Friday that the Nats are genuinely interested in retaining Harper, and the Philadelphia Phillies are also strongly in the mix.
phillies are in process of setting up a face to face meeting with bryce harper, as @JSalisburyNBCS 1st reported. rival nats are obviously interested in retaining harper. chisox seem like a long shot for harper at moment, but mystery team(s) always possible.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 4, 2019
Rival teams supposedly believe the Phillies are prepared to make the biggest offers for both Harper and Machado, so it would be a surprise if they don’t end up with one of the two star free agents. The Chicago White Sox, who were believed to be suitors for both, seem unwilling to offer the number of years each slugger will be seeking.
Most assume Machado will sign with the New York Yankees, so that takes them out of the running for Harper. As Heyman mentioned, a surprise team (perhaps one from the West Coast?) can always emerge, but it seems like the Phillies and Nationals are competing to land Harper.
The Chicago White Sox are one of the teams that are believed to be in the running to sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, but they may not be willing to come close to meeting the contractual demands of either player.
Both Machado and Harper are said to be seeking 10-year contracts, and Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago reports that the White Sox have no plans to offer more than seven.
Reports of the White Sox offering ten plus years for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper are ”Without any substance and flat out wrong “ according to high ranking industry sources . Wh Sox will not be giving offer of more than 7 years for either player.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) January 2, 2019
Assuming the White Sox are still in the running, we can only assume one of two things to be true — Chicago is bluffing, or they are willing to offer a higher enough average annual salary that their seven-year offers are worth considering for Machado and/or Harper.
For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Jeff Passan — one of the most respected MLB insiders — reported on Wednesday that the White Sox are willing to go 10 years. Levine’s report seemed to be a response to that, so time will tell which is accurate.
Machado has potentially already made up his mind about where he will sign, and this is not the first time we have heard the White Sox are unwilling to make a record-breaking offer to either superstar free agent. Unless that is merely posturing, it sounds unlikely that Machado or Harper ends up in Chicago.
The Colorado Rockies are interested in bringing back reliever Adam Ottavino after the right-hander enjoyed his best season in the majors last year, but they will have some competition from at least two other teams.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox have shown consistent interest in Ottavino this offseason.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 27, 2018
Ottavino, 33, posted a 2.43 ERA in 75 appearances with the Rockies last season. He recorded 34 holds and emerged as one of the better setup men in baseball, so he will most likely end up with multiple offers.
Even though Ottavino felt like he was overlooked with the All-Star Game this year, it’s clear plenty of teams took note of his career-best season.
Much has been made about the Chicago White Sox’ interest in both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but their willingness to bring in one or both may not be as strong as it had been believed.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the White Sox do like both Harper and Machado a lot, and are prepared to enter the market for them. The fact that they traded for Yonder Alonso, Machado’s brother-in-law, only intensified the rumors. However, according to Olney, Chicago’s interest falls within the more traditional financial parameters, and the team is unlikely to make a record-setting offer for either player.
The expectation is that both Harper and Machado will sign record deals this offseason. If that’s the case, the White Sox are unlikely to land either player.
In other news, unless the market turns out to be less robust than it seems to be, this report probably won’t hold up. The interest is real, but it does not appear to be the frenzied, aggressive sort.