GLENDALE, Ariz. — Rick Hahn said he was "pissed off" when he met the media Tuesday to react to reports that Manny Machado is signing a $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres.
The White Sox general manager said back at SoxFest that he'd be disappointed if the 26-year-old free-agent superstar opted to play somewhere besides the South Side of Chicago, and that disappointment came Tuesday.
"From the rawness and selfish standpoint, or my individual standpoint, trying really hard and failing is not sufficient," Hahn said. "I will not begrudge a player for exercising the rights they have to choose to go elsewhere. I can be disappointed, I can be frustrated. And when I say frustrated, I say frustrated for myself only. Because again, this organization from top to bottom did an excellent job of putting us in a position to convert and to make (Machado's camp) have a very difficult decision.
"For me personally, trying and falling short isn't sufficient so I'm going to take the next few hours to continue to be pretty pissed off about this."
Of most interest to upset White Sox fans will be Hahn's characterization of the team's contract offer, one that he described as "superior" in ways to the one reportedly handed down by the Padres.
"We should be proud of the aggressiveness and creativity of our offer, which we were told was not only extremely competitive, but if the reports out there are accurate was superior to what was ultimately selected in certain ways," Hahn said. "That said, this is free agency. The players have worked extremely hard to get to this point and they have choices.
"In the end, deals of this length are extremely complicated, with various moving pieces. We were aggressive in trying to balance the length of control, the upside, the risk and the flexibility a contract like this would provide. In the end we felt we made a very compelling offer."
Though executive vice president Kenny Williams caused some early confusion by simultaneously saying that the White Sox wouldn't go to $300 million but had a potentially more lucrative offer, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal followed up with how that was possible, describing the White Sox offer as $50 million cheaper but two years shorter, making for a higher annual salary, as well as containing incentives and options that could have made Machado richer in Chicago than in San Diego.
Source: #WhiteSox offer to Machado was 8/$250M (a higher AAV than he will receive from #Padres. Total value of deal - with incentives and vesting options - could have been “well north” of $300M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 19, 2019
Second source says total value of #WhiteSox offer could have reached $350M if all options were vested and every incentive was reached. But Machado, as believed all along, wanted the $300M guarantee. https://t.co/EXd83w2Xkt— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 19, 2019
If that report is accurate, then the White Sox offered $50 million less in guaranteed money but allowed for the potential that Machado could've earned $50 million more in Chicago.
Hahn said there was a meeting between the White Sox and Machado's representation just Monday and that he went to bed feeling confident about the team getting a deal done.
"Went to bed last night feeling fairly confident," he said. "Knowing the improvement to the proposal we made last night and knowing the very strong elements of that proposal, I went to bed feeling we put forth an extremely solid effort and there was a real solid chance of converting."
For those upset that the White Sox seemed to balk at a big number, or that they have a limit they won't go over when deciding whether or not to spend on a player, Hahn said that simply isn't the case.
"There's not a hard, firm number, limit, magic number," Hahn said. "Jerry Reinsdorf, for where he was willing to step up, both in terms of guaranteed dollars, structure, upside, he should be commended for how aggressive he was in the end with us and allowing us the latitude to get to where we felt we put a very compelling deal together.
"In terms of a magic cap of a number, that doesn't exist. There are certain things in the deal that aren't going to work for us, for various reasons. We weren't able to get this deal done."
Hahn made sure to inform those listening, be they fan or observer or perhaps even himself and fellow members of the front office, that this will not be the last opportunity for the White Sox to add a premium talent from outside the organization. He wouldn't get into whether the team was still interested in Bryce Harper — who will likely command a richer deal than the one Machado is reportedly receiving — but described his front office's commitment to adding big-name talent in the future. It's not hard to envision the White Sox being involved in an offseason's worth of rumors again next winter, with a loaded class of free agents set to hit the market.
But in the end, it's a disappointing day for the White Sox and their fans, as any glance at Twitter will indicate. Hahn was obviously feeling that disappointment, especially after offering a deal that could have dispelled with the notion that the White Sox won't spend the necessary money to attract big-name players to the South Side. There will be more opportunities to add to the core of the rebuild. But they came up short in this one.
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