White Sox

Could a Phillies coaching hire trump the lure of Manny Machado uniting the 'Miami Baseball Brotherhood' on the South Side?

1220_manny_machado_phillies.jpg
USA TODAY

Could a Phillies coaching hire trump the lure of Manny Machado uniting the 'Miami Baseball Brotherhood' on the South Side?

The White Sox can offer something no other team in the Manny Machado derby can: the opportunity to play alongside brother-in-law Yonder Alonso and good buddy/winter workout buddy Jon Jay, a chance to unite the "Miami Baseball Brotherhood" on the South Side.

But the Philadelphia Phillies, the White Sox chief and perhaps only remaining competitor in this sweepstakes, have made their own interesting move to try and add an aspect of comfort and familiarity to their pitch.

According to a couple reports, the Phillies added former Baltimore Orioles coach Bobby Dickerson to their coaching staff. Dickerson has been described as Machado's mentor and had a close relationship with him during the 26-year-old free-agent superstar's time in Baltimore.

The Phillies' front office is already stacked with former Orioles brass, but Dickerson provides a whole different level of familiarity.

This story from The Athletic's Dan Connolly, written amid the firestorm created by Machado's antics during the NLCS back in October, is packed with details of the relationship between Machado and Dickerson, including that Dickerson was the one sent to Machado's Double-A team to teach him how to play third base when he was 19. Machado won a pair of Gold Gloves at the hot corner as a big leaguer, even though he now claims a preference for shortstop, what he was playing when Dickerson coached him up in the minors.

Connolly wrote that the two cried together when Machado was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer and that they still text on a weekly basis. And Dickerson had a unique insight on all those negative headlines Machado has grabbed during his career, whether for throwing equipment in the middle of games, executing spikes-up slides or dragging his foot across Jesus Aguilar's leg during the NLCS.

"I’ve always tried to challenge him with what does he want his legacy to be. That’s how I tried to talk to him," Dickerson told Connolly. "Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t work. But, ultimately, I just tried to challenge him,” Dickerson said. “I definitely didn’t try to boss him. I tried to challenge him and say, ‘Hey, how do you want this to look when your career is over? What do you want it to be like?’

"I don’t think he is intentionally doing things like that. I think sometimes, maybe, he screws up. I don’t think anything he does is malicious. I know him personally. He’s been really good to me and good to my family and my son. He’s a good guy. He’s got a good heart. He’s all these things if you know him personally. A lot of people will never get to know who the guy is, who the man is. They just know who Swaggy Machado is."

Nothing, though, should do a better job convincing outside observers that the Phillies' hiring of Dickerson could be a big deal then Connolly's opening line to that story: "Besides​ select​ family​ members​ and​ a few close friends,​ there​ might​ be no one​ who knows​ Los​ Angeles Dodgers​ infielder Manny Machado​​ better than Bobby Dickerson."

Of course, the White Sox have a family member and a close friend on their roster in Alonso and Jay.

The New York Yankees, perhaps "out" on Machado depending on which report you read at any given moment during this always-changing saga, made a move that did a similar job of raising eyebrows earlier this offseason, adding Carlos Beltran to their front office right before their meeting with Machado. During his playing days, Beltran was represented by Machado's current agent. But Beltran was a Yankee, too, and received rave reviews for the part he played in the Houston Astros' recent championship run.

And you can make a case that the familiarity those in the Phillies' front office have with Dickerson from their days in Baltimore makes him a valuable addition, regardless of the tie to Machado. If he helped a superstar like Machado so much, he'll be of great value to other young players, right?

So, too, did Rick Hahn argue that the White Sox adding Alonso and Jay were "baseball moves" that make the White Sox better and have nothing to do with "the relationships they have with other players throughout the game."

But at the very least, there is now another argument the Phillies can make for why they're the best destination for Machado. Just like the White Sox are the only team that can offer the opportunity to play alongside family and friends, the Phillies are the only team that can offer the opportunity to continue a significant working relationship with a coach.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rick Hahn talks Eloy deal, Machado pursuit and White Sox offseason in 1-on-1 interview

0305_eloy_jimenez.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rick Hahn talks Eloy deal, Machado pursuit and White Sox offseason in 1-on-1 interview

Chuck Garfien sits down with White Sox general manager Rick Hahn in Arizona.

They talk about everything from Eloy Jimenez signing a long-term contract with the White Sox to missing out on Manny Machado. Hahn discusses how long a new deal with Jimenez had been in the works (5:10), if the contract talks affected Jimenez at the plate this spring (7:00), why it took so long for Manny Machado to sign (13:30), why they weren't willing to guarantee the last two years for Machado (16:00), what Hahn would say to skeptical White Sox fans who don't think White Sox will be able to sign a premium free agent (18:00), how the White Sox lost a deal this offseason because of a tweet (22:30), whether the worst part of the rebuild is in the past, (24:30) if the stakes are higher now for those on the major league club (27:20) and more.

Listen below or click this link to hear the latest episode:

White Sox Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

White Sox make long-term deal with Eloy Jimenez official

White Sox make long-term deal with Eloy Jimenez official

The White Sox officially announced the long-term contract with Eloy Jimenez, the details of which were reported earlier this week.

The 22-year-old Jimenez received the richest contract ever for a minor league player who has yet to make his major league debut.

The team confirmed what was reported earlier in the week, that the deal is worth $43 million over six years with a pair of team options that could extend the contract through the 2026 season.

From the White Sox announcement:

"Under terms of the contract, Jimenez will receive a $5 million bonus in addition to $1 million in 2019, $1.5 million in 2020, $3.5 million in 2021, $6.5 million in 2022, $9.5 million in 2023 and $13 million in 2024. The White Sox hold options for $16.5 million in 2025 and $18.5 million in 2026, with $3 million buyouts for either season."

Should the White Sox eventually pick up both options, this deal has the potential to be the largest the franchise has ever handed out, surpassing the $68 million deal given to Jose Abreu ahead of the 2014 season.

The contract seems to be a smashing success for the White Sox, who despite taking on the risk of giving so much guaranteed money to a player yet to see a big league pitch, gain eight years of club control over the No. 3 prospect in the game and a player they believe can blossom into one of baseball's elite hitters.

Most notably, in the immediate, the deal wipes away the service-time conversation surrounding Jimenez and his eventual major league debut. Playing within the rules, the White Sox were expected to delay Jimenez's big league arrival long enough to prevent him from accruing a full season of major league service time. Though they never publicly said that was their intent, such an action would have given them an extra, seventh year of control on his rookie contract. This new contract throws the necessity for such a maneuver out the window and could allow Jimenez to make his major league debut on Opening Day next week in Kansas City.

But the deal is far less about having Jimenez in a White Sox uniform for the next six months than it is about having him a White Sox uniform for the next eight years. The long term of this deal could extend their planned contention window a year further, keeping the team in championship contention longer. Jimenez becomes the centerpiece of the entire rebuilding project, and the stars of the future can come up and grow with him into a a hoped-for perennial contender.

“Eloy is a tremendously talented young player who has impressed us with his baseball skills, poise and maturity from the moment he joined the White Sox organization,” general manager Rick Hahn said in the team's announcement. “We view him as an important member of the core we are building over the coming years and so are pleased to have reached this long-term agreement to have him in a White Sox uniform for many seasons to come.”

“My family and I are very happy and excited to sign this deal,” Jimenez said in the announcement. “It gives us the opportunity to ensure our future, but more importantly, to reinforce my commitment to the White Sox organization. All of my effort, focus and desire is to help this team win multiple championships and bring joy to our fan base.”

Now, it's time to watch the first year of that deal, a season in which Jimenez will be one of the favorites to win American League Rookie of the Year honors.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.