White Sox

New rumor in Manny Machado sweepstakes: White Sox have competition from Yankees, who have supposedly made $220 million offer

New rumor in Manny Machado sweepstakes: White Sox have competition from Yankees, who have supposedly made $220 million offer

The White Sox are no longer the only team whose offer to Manny Machado has been thrown into the public arena.

They stood alone in that category, with various reports detailing their offer as being worth seven years and somewhere around $200 million. Those numbers got more specific, with $175 million over seven years being the most recent example, though Machado's agent, Dan Lozano, rushed to call that figure inaccurate. The high end, reports of a contract worth $250 million, got shot down by a flurry of follow-up reports within hours.

Well, add another team to the list. Former general manager Jim Duquette appeared on SNY on Saturday morning and said he heard that the New York Yankees have made an offer to Machado worth $220 million.

"It's been very difficult to find out a lot of this because the agents, both Dan Lozano and Scott Boras for (Bryce) Harper, are keeping it real tight. But what I've been told here recently was that the Yankees' offer — a lot of times these are out there and they're not necessarily in writing but they're hypothetical — was somewhere in that seven-year, eight-year range for $220 million," he said. "The problem is, there's a lot of teams that are in that range, also, and it doesn't really distinguish them from others. I do hear there's another club that's gone further than that.

"It's not much different than what we were thinking earlier in the winter in terms of, I don't think the Yankees are going to be the highest bidder, even though they're willing to make an aggressive offer. That's an aggressive offer. Machado's going to have other options that are probably higher in other cities, including Philly and other places, and he's going to make a decision."

Duquette made sure to emphasize that he wasn't exactly reporting something but merely passing along something he heard, which makes this far from the most concrete information ever presented.

But given the dearth of information surrounding offers to the two biggest names on the free-agent market, this is somewhat notable, especially as the figure Duquette relayed is $45 million more than the most recently reported number associated with the White Sox offer.

Throughout the offseason, the Yankees have been an ongoing mystery when it comes to their desire to add Machado at all. Machado supposedly prefers to play in The Bronx, the team he grew up rooting for, and he did travel there on his free-agent tour in December. But the Yankees have carried on with their offseason while Machado, and Harper, for that matter, have stalled on their decision making. They've spent quite a bit on bullpen upgrades and filled up an already crowded infield with free agents Troy Tulowitzki and D.J. LeMahieu. All that seemed to take them out of the Machado sweepstakes.

But the Yankees are the Yankees, and owner Hal Steinbrenner sparked new speculation that they might not yet be out of the sweepstakes with comments Friday at the owners meetings in Orlando.

"I don’t think it’s ever done," he told reporters. "Look, if somebody comes — I haven’t changed — I mean if somebody comes to me with a suggestion or a proposal, I’m going to seriously consider it right up until Opening Day or after. That’s part of my leave-no-stone-unturned (policy), right?"

The White Sox continue to be described as the most likely landing spot for Machado. But the Yankees could provide even stiffer competition than the Philadelphia Phillies or San Diego Padres, given Machado's supposed preference to play there.

That being said, even $220 million might be nowhere near the type of contract Lozano is trying to get for his client, with a report out just Friday saying that he's looking for at least $300 million. That same report, from The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, described the White Sox preferred approach and their desire not to get into a bidding war with other clubs.

The White Sox remain confident in their future-focused pitch highlighting their loaded farm system and what kind of winning that core could do over the next decade. But the Yankees can offer a vastly greater opportunity to win championships in the immediate. After winning 100 games last season, they could very well be the preseason World Series favorite. And given Duquette's prediction that the Yankees won't end up the highest bidder, it's possible the White Sox offer the richer contract in the end. Though it was reported earlier this offseason that if the money was equal, Machado would prefer to sign with the Yankees. The Phillies, according to Rosenthal, are confident they can outbid anyone, but they have a simultaneous pursuit of Harper to worry about, too.

Things seem to be getting a bit more complicated for the White Sox, who certainly remain committed to bringing in a premium talent to advance their rebuilding project. Whether that happens this offseason or next offseason hinges on Machado and Harper's decisions, which just days from the start of spring training have yet to be made. And now, maybe, there's the Yankees to worry about.

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Watch Luis Robert rope a triple for his first hit of spring training

Watch Luis Robert rope a triple for his first hit of spring training

Of all the excitement surrounding the White Sox entering 2020, Luis Robert might have the most juice right now.

After dominating three levels of the minors last season and fresh off signing a lucrative contract extension before even playing in a big league game, Robert has plenty of buzz around him. On Tuesday, he showed off a little bit of why in Cactus League action.

Robert roped a ball into the right-center field gap and raced to third for a triple.

Robert is known for his power and speed combination, which led to a 30-30 season in the minors last year. This is a good example of it. 

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Any Yoan Moncada extension would be in line with White Sox strategy


Any Yoan Moncada extension would be in line with White Sox strategy

Is a Yoan Moncada extension in the works?

Moncada's not aware of anything, or so he told reporters Tuesday in Arizona.

"Honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to that," he said through team interpreter Billy Russo. "My focus is just in the game and preparing myself to be in the best position that I can be for the season. Just work hard. That’s my goal right now. That’s where my focus is right now.

"If my agent calls me and tells me there is something ... then we’ll consider it. For now, I’m just focusing on my game and my preparation."

Whether winds blowing throughout the Twittersphere are onto something or not, indeed it is extension season. The White Sox just announced a long-term commitment to reliever Aaron Bummer over the weekend. It was in the run-up to Opening Day last spring that Eloy Jimenez signed his big-money deal that assured he broke camp with the big league club and could keep him on the South Side for as long as seven more seasons.

The big-money deal for Luis Robert — the second for a player yet to play a major league game in as many years — came well before the first full-squad workout at Camelback Ranch. But it shows the continued commitment by the White Sox to keep this core together as long as possible.

Seeing that kind of commitment to Moncada, who emerged as the team's best all-around hitter last season, after struggling through his first full year in the majors in 2018, would not be surprising.

"This tends to be the most productive time of year in terms of getting extensions done," general manager Rick Hahn said the day pitchers and catchers reported to Glendale. "Doesn’t mean anything is going to happen. But especially early in camp when things are a little quieter, it’s a little easier to have those conversations and certainly not distract the player from their in-season games or their late-camp preparation.

"In terms of whether any of those will materialize, we’ll see."

One already has, with Bummer. Could Moncada be next?

Though purely speculation, the White Sox third baseman would perhaps be less inclined than others to jump at big dollars now. After all, he received a record $31 million signing bonus when he signed with the Boston Red Sox as an international free agent. Since coming over to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade, he's shown why the other color of Sox invested that much in him in the first place. While dancing around some injury issues in 2019, he slashed .315/.367/.548 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs. He was considered an All-Star snub by many in the home clubhouse at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Whether Moncada and his representation want to cash in now or hold off for a bigger payday in free agency — scheduled to arrive after the 2023 season — is up to them.

The White Sox have shown their dedication to extending a contention window by keeping these youngsters on the South Side for a good, long while. Certainly they would be happy to employ Moncada for as long as possible, particularly if his 2019 breakout was merely a sign of things to come.

Take a look at how long the White Sox have their core under club control:

— Through the 2021 season: Nomar Mazara, Carlos Rodon

— Through the 2022 season: Jose Abreu

— Through the 2023 season: Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez

— Through the 2024 season: Tim Anderson, Michael Kopech

— Through the 2025 season: Dylan Cease

— Through the 2026 season: Eloy Jimenez, Aaron Bummer

— Through the 2027 season: Luis Robert

That's a lot of club control, and moving Moncada down on that list a few spots would only make the long-term future look all the better.

"I feel comfortable on this team," he said. "I have been feeling comfortable on this team since the moment I came here. I actually see myself on this team for a very long time."

We'll see, to borrow a Hahn term, if anything materializes before Opening Day. But if something does, that would be right in line with the front office's strategy as they look to open that contention window.

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