The late-night frenzy over a reported eight-year offer from the White Sox to Manny Machado is getting some pushback now that the sun has come up.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Sunday night that the White Sox, whose contract offer to Manny Machado had previously been reported to be seven years for about $200 million, upped their offer to eight years, with Hector Gomez following shortly thereafter with a report that the new offer was worth $250 million. That would come as a huge change of plans, as the White Sox had been reported as unwilling to go past seven years in their offers to Machado and fellow mega free agent Bryce Harper (though supposedly they still haven't even offered a contract to the latter).
Well, it might have been too big a change to be true, with USA Today's Bob Nightengale (both Sunday night and Monday morning) reporting the White Sox are sticking with that "original" seven-year offer and The Score's Bruce Levine adding the same thing, also saying that "the offer is for closer to $200 million than $250 million" with an average annual value of between $25 million and $30 million.
The Chicago #Whitesox, who made their 7-year offer to Manny Machado nearly two weeks ago, have not revised their offer as of this morning. So far, still have not budged in their stance.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 14, 2019
Despite reports of 8 year offer @JeffPassan ,the White Sox have not bid against themselves on long term Machado deal. Seven years has been the max offered . AAV likely between $25 and $30 mil.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) January 14, 2019
As Levine mentioned, such a jump in offers would be the White Sox bidding against themselves. There are so few suitors still in the mix, potentially only the White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies, that it would be ridiculous to offer a gargantuan number if you didn't have to. It is obviously difficult to guess at what "more than you would have to" would be when the details of a Phillies offer have not been reported and remain a mystery. The Phillies owner said they might "be a little bit stupid" with their spending this winter, but how much does that mean?
Certain fans might be wondering why the White Sox wouldn't just offer a ton of money and assure they would land Machado. Why not overpay? That is a decision that could have a negative effect on the White Sox payroll for years to come and prevent them from making necessary moves once the contention window is open. Just look across town to the Cubs as a contending team struggling to make any roster adjustments because of the large contracts handed out in recent offseasons.
And it's also a complaint likely made considering the expectations at the beginning of the offseason, when Machado was expected to receive a contract worth $300 million. But we've come a long way since then, and recent reports that Machado's agent is still seeking a contract that would be baseball's largest ever — worth more than Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million deal — struck as almost laughable, particularly because this whole sweepstakes seems to be down to just two teams.
There's no telling quite yet how this weekend's meeting with Harper in Las Vegas has affected the Phillies' pursuit of Machado. Perhaps they want to convince both to go to Philly in some sort of LeBron-Wade-Bosh type situation, though even in that scenario the Phillies' championship chances would seem much less favorable than the Miami Heat's did. Or perhaps it's all a big chess game to try to convince one or the other to sign and sign quickly. The Phillies have been reported to prefer Machado and to be the "clear-cut favorite" to land Harper.
Where does all that leave the White Sox? Well, it would seemingly leave them with a seven-year, approximately $200 million offer on the table for Machado.
Whether or not that ends up as enough to get him or not, we'll find out one day. Hopefully one day soon.