White Sox

How much money will it take to get Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to come to the White Sox?


How much money will it take to get Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to come to the White Sox?

How much money will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado get? More pressingly, perhaps, for South Side baseball fans: How much money will it take to get either Harper or Machado to come play for the White Sox?

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Thursday that the White Sox have already made an offer to Machado, adding that they're more engaged on him than Harper at the moment, not entirely a surprise considering Machado is expected to make his decision before Harper's. Nightengale also said the White Sox have yet to make Harper a contract offer while staying in "constant contact" with the biggest name on the free-agent market. (But they're perhaps not behind schedule there, as the Philadelphia Phillies are just now sitting down with Harper for the first time after meeting with only his agent, Scott Boras, during the Winter Meetings. The White Sox twice met with Harper in Las Vegas, once early in the offseason and again during the Winter Meetings.)

Nightengale expanded on his initial tweet in a more detailed written piece and had a couple more nuggets to add, chiefly that the White Sox offer is "a serious offer, likely closer to $200 million than $300 million, but not enough to sway Machado to board a flight from Miami to Chicago for a press conference."

So what can we infer from that? Nightengale's details followed Wednesday's contradictory reports from ESPN's Jeff Passan and The Score's Bruce Levine, the former saying the White Sox were willing to guarantee a 10-year deal to Harper and the latter saying the White Sox wouldn't go past seven years with either Harper or Machado.

Unless the market for these two 26-year-old superstars has decreased to a point undreamt of when the offseason began, an offer to Machado worth "closer to $200 million than $300 million" probably isn't 10 years long. Remember that both of these guys were expected to get record-breaking deals when they started free agency, perhaps joining Giancarlo Stanton as baseball's only $300 million men or Mike Trout, Zack Greinke, David Price and Miguel Cabrera as guys making $30 million a year.

But the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers haven't seemed willing to make a decade-long offer, perhaps because they hold the leverage of these guys wanting to play for them, something Nightengale wrote Thursday, saying that "if Machado had his wish, and the offers were relatively close, friends believe he’d choose the New York Yankees" and that "if Harper had his choice, with the offers being close, friends believe he’d pick the Los Angeles Dodgers."

Those preferences could mean the White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies, like the South Siders in on both mega free agents, would have to come to the table with huge contract offers. Again, that would be a logical assumption, as neither team can guarantee the immediate World Series contention the Yankees (100 wins last season) and the Dodgers (back-to-back NL pennants) can.

So what would a Yankees offer to Machado look like? And connecting dots that the White Sox offer could look something in the ballpark of seven years (off Levine's suggestion that it's as high as they'll go) and $210 million (off Nightengale's "closer to $200 million than $300 million" info and enough to make Machado a $30 million-a-year player), one wonders if it's enough to sway Machado from his long-held desire to play in The Bronx. Of course, "closer to $200 million than $300 million" could also mean as high as $249,999,999, and only three contracts in baseball history have been worth more than that. It'd give Machado an average salary of well more than $35 million, the highest in baseball history.

The White Sox might find themselves "relatively close" to the Dodgers in the competition for Harper, that is if they don't want to go past seven years and if the Dodgers have no interest in a gigantic, decade-long pact. That could give an edge to the Phillies, who have vowed to spend "stupid" this winter. Maybe they end up the only team willing to hand out the richest contract in baseball history. For the White Sox to do that and not go past seven years, the contract would have to pay Harper an average salary of nearly $47 million.

But Harper, according to Levine, has already received multiple 10-year offers, though there's no indication of which teams made those offers or if those offers have even been made by multiple teams. Remember the Washington Nationals' 10-year, $300 million offer that Harper reportedly rejected? Apparently that hasn't been their only offer.

And with the Nationals still having meetings with Harper, including one as recent as right before Christmas, according to the Washington Post, that team is not at all out of the running. But they'll likely have to give him more than $300 million. Any team bidding for Harper's services probably will.

So will the White Sox — who have an incredible amount of financial flexibility and pretty much no long-term financial commitments to speak of, a big part of the reason they're in these derbies in the first place — make offers that take them out of the "relatively close" range and create separation between themselves and the teams these players seemingly prefer?

Don't expect a decision anytime soon, at least not both of them. One more line from Nightengale: "All we really know is that this wait could be a doozy. Maybe even into spring training."

Oh boy.

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Moncada's moves help seal White Sox epic extra innings win

Moncada's moves help seal White Sox epic extra innings win

To say the 2018-19 White Sox have had an up-and-down season would be an understatement. The season has been filled with more good than bad for sure‒three All-Stars, 42 wins, one possible Rookie of the Year candidate‒but their seven-game losing streak coming out the All-Star break certainly seemed taxing.

Chicago’s Leury Garica-fueled bounce-back win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday certainly helped spirits but Saturday’s dramatic, extra-innings win at Tropicana field could be the type of win that really gets the team back on track.

It looked like the White Sox were headed for their eighth loss in nine games. They were down to their final out when catcher James McCann decided to add another chapter to his storybook season.


McCann took a slider from Rays relief pitcher Emilio Pagán 373-feet out to left field for the game-tying home run.

It was another huge moment in a great season from McCann, heightened by the fact that there were so few baserunners (total) in this game and that another o-fer in the scoring column would’ve marked the second shutout loss in a week for the White Sox.

Instead, McCann’s heroics extended a game in which the White Sox bullpen‒2 H, 0 ER‒was excellent in relief of Lucas Giolito, who also pitched well.

Over 6.2 innings, Giolito racked up 9 Ks while giving up 7 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run. The lone run Giolito gave up was a high changeup that former White Sox outfielder Avisaíl García.

This game was without a doubt a pitchers' duel, so it was only fitting that the game-winning run was scored on an RBI-single by  José Abreu in which Yoan Moncada personified "Ricky's boys don't quit" on the basepaths.

Despite the lack of strong offensive production on Saturday night, the White Sox were able to grind out the win in a Giolito start, something that has been a recurring theme for the squad.

As elder statesmen Abreu hinted at, the White Sox need their key players back but wins like Saturday’s will help build confidence in the meantime.

The South Siders head into Sunday’s noon game with the Rays‒and their subsequent series with the Miami Marlins‒with their seven-game losing streak further in the rearview mirror and that is the best news we could hope for as we await the cavalry.

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White Sox place reliever Kelvin Herrera on injured list with oblique strain


White Sox place reliever Kelvin Herrera on injured list with oblique strain

The White Sox saw another pitcher hit the shelf due to injury on Saturday.

Ahead of their game against the Rays, the White Sox placed reliever Kelvin Herrera on the 10-day injured with a right oblique strain. In a corresponding move, the team recalled right-hander Jimmy Cordero from Triple-A Charlotte.

Entering the 2019 season, Herrera was expected to be a formidable late-game reliever in the White Sox bullpen alongside closer Álex Colomé. While Colomé (20-for-21 in save chances, 2.39 ERA in 37 2/3 innings) has thrived, Herrera has struggled in his debut season on the South Side. The 29-year-old holds a 7.36 ERA in 38 games/33 innings. As things currently stand, his .326 batting average against and 3.82 BB/9 would be career highs. 

Herrera's struggles are somewhat suprising when considering how well he pitched (2.44 ERA, 48 games/44 1/3 innings) in 2018. He did struggle after the Royals traded him to the Nationals on June 18, though, perhaps a precursor of what was to come from him in 2019:

Kelvin Herrera in 2018:

  with Royals with Nationals
Games 27 21
Innings 25 2/3 18 2/3
ERA 1.05 4.34
BB 2 8
K 22 16
BAA .207 .304

The White Sox claimed Cordero off of waivers from the Mariners on June 7. He previously pitched with the Nationals (22 games, 19 innings) in 2018 and Blue Jays (one game, 1 1/3 innings) in 2019. He holds a career 5.75 ERA in the MLB, but he's pitched well with Charlotte. The 28-year-old has gone 3-1 with a 0.51 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Knights, with opponents hitting just .215 against him in 13 outings.

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