White Sox

Kenny Williams addresses Manny Machado's reported $300 million deal with Padres: 'We could not go to that level'

Kenny Williams addresses Manny Machado's reported $300 million deal with Padres: 'We could not go to that level'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox sound as if they were somewhat blindsided by Manny Machado's reported decade-long deal with the San Diego Padres.

Speaking to reporters shortly after news of Machado's agreement with the Padres came out, White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams talked with reporters at Camelback Ranch and expressed a feeling of shock.

"I’m wearing my shades so that you guys don’t see the shock in my eyes," Williams said. "It is disappointing. I’d be lying to you if I said anything other than that.

"But Jerry (Reinsdorf, team chairman) really stepped up and stepped up in a fashion that is unprecedented. We all in that clubhouse talked about it this morning. We felt like we actually were potentially could close a deal today with him. We thought we were the high offer on the table, and we still feel — if the reports are accurate — we still feel that there was more potential for him to make more here then that reported deal."

The Padres' reported deal with Machado is worth $300 million over 10 years. How he might have made more than that, if those are the reports Williams was referencing, is a tad unclear, considering Williams said the White Sox weren't willing to go to $300 million. But he said he believed they had made the best offer.

"San Diego stepped up to that level," he said. "That level wasn't feasible to us because we still have to project putting together a total winning roster and keeping the young players that will ultimately earn into greater dollars themselves, so when you look at the big picture without having to sacrifice some of them, we could not go to that level."

Of course, what that brings up immediately is where the White Sox stand with Bryce Harper, the other mega free agent on the market who they have pursued this offseason. If they weren't willing to spend $300 million on Machado, would they be willing to spend that — and most likely more — on Harper?

General manager Rick Hahn has talked about hoping to dispel of the notion that the White Sox won't spend big dollars to acquire one of the game's best players, but they do appear to have their limit.

Of course, Williams' point about maintaining financial flexibility is a good one. Just look to the other side of town to see a Cubs team that is barreling toward a scenario in which their homegrown core becomes too expensive to keep together. The White Sox are still developing their core, but it could be bigger and richer than the one on the North Side, featuring young pitchers like Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease and young position players like Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal. Those guys could all demand big contracts down the road, and the White Sox would be wise to be able to keep that group together. A contract like the one Machado got from the Padres would have made that much more difficult, if not impossible.

The White Sox had much the same to offer as the Padres did: a bright future, a loaded farm system, the potential to play for a perennial contender for the next decade. But the Padres had $300 million.

"You've got to give it to them," Williams said. "They are in a similar trajectory as we are. And for the same reasons we were after him, they were after him. Their ownership group did a great job in trumping everyone else."

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Dane Dunning undergoes Tommy John surgery as another White Sox prospect goes on the shelf

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USA TODAY

Dane Dunning undergoes Tommy John surgery as another White Sox prospect goes on the shelf

Another highly rated White Sox prospect will spend much of the next year in recovery mode.

Dane Dunning underwent Tommy John surgery Monday, the team told reporters in Arizona, pairing him with Michael Kopech as pitching prospects in recovery mode.

https://twitter.com/ JRFegan/status/1107788100170768384

Dunning was shut down last June because of a forearm issue, the White Sox hoping to avoid Tommy John at that time. He wasn't invited to big league camp this spring, with general manager Rick Hahn explaining that decision away as a way to ease Dunning into the 2019 campaign. But Dunning again experienced forearm discomfort during camp, and Hahn said last week that all options were on the table, including the Tommy John surgery that came Monday.

Dunning will presumably go through the standard recovery process following the surgery, which lasts many months. Kopech, the organization's top-rated pitching prospect, underwent the procedure not long after making his major league debut in late August, and he will not pitch in 2019.

The surgery is a tough turn of events for Dunning, who was putting together a terrific 2018 campaign when he was shut down last summer. He had a 2.71 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 86.1 innings between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. Hahn spoke glowingly of Dunning, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 80 prospect in the game, as someone who could've competed for a spot in the major league rotation this spring, if not for the injury.

Dunning becomes just the latest White Sox prospect to have a significant injury in the last couple seasons. Third baseman Jake Burger, the team's first-round pick in the 2017 draft, suffered a pair of Achilles tears last year and missed the entire season. Kopech will not pitch again until 2020 while he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Springtime injuries delayed the 2018 debuts of both pitcher Alec Hansen and outfielder Luis Robert until the summer. Outfielder Micker Adolfo is on the mend from Tommy John surgery, as well. Outfielder Luis Basabe suffered a broken bone in his hand this spring.

Individually, these injuries do little to dim the bright futures of the players. Even with time off to recover, their ceilings remain high. But both individually and collectively, they do figure to affect the timeline of the White Sox ongoing rebuilding project, thanks to missed developmental time. Enough players experiencing those delays on their path to the majors can add up to the team's planned contention window perhaps opening later than initially hoped.

 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Will this be a breakout season for Yoan Moncada?

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Will this be a breakout season for Yoan Moncada?

Chuck Garfien and Chris Kamka come to you from spring training where they discuss if 2019 will be a breakout season for Moncada (1:20).

Chuck spoke about Moncada with Jose Abreu (4:00), Yonder Alonso (7:20), and hitting coach Todd Steverson (11:50). Kamka provides a whole bunch of Moncada stats throughout the podcast. Chuck and Chris also discuss Carlos Rodon being named the Opening Day starter (20:30) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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