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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How the White Sox and Phillies balking at $300 million guaranteed for Manny Machado could affect Bryce Harper's market

How the White Sox and Phillies balking at $300 million guaranteed for Manny Machado could affect Bryce Harper's market

Manny Machado is off the board, but Bryce Harper is still out there.

As the front offices of the teams that went after and failed to get Machado (the White Sox, Phillies and to some extent the Yankees) scramble to adjust, Harper is now the lone remaining superstar free agent on the board.

Don’t tell Bryce Harper or Scott Boras this, but at least two of the main suitors for Harper seem like they are in the losers’ bracket for this season’s free agency. The front office brass for both the White Sox and Phillies had to face the music regarding Machado on Tuesday and tried to explain what happened.

Kenny Williams said the White Sox “could not go to that level” when referring to the $300 million guaranteed contract for Machado. Meanwhile, in Florida, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak explained his team’s reaction to the Padres’ offer to Machado.

"There's a certain value that we believe a player brings and we were willing to be aggressive," Klentak said. "If the reports are true, then this contract will exceed our valuation and sometimes you have to be willing to walk away.”

The way Williams and Klentak said those things is different, but the meaning is the same. Neither team was willing to offer $300 million guaranteed for Machado (even if the White Sox offer reportedly could have been worth more with incentives and vesting options).

This also doesn’t sound like the stupid money the Phillies were said to be spending this offseason. This sounds more like a very large pile of measured, thought-out money.

What does that mean for Harper? Do the White Sox and Phillies have different evaluations for Harper than they did for Machado? Can they shift focus to Harper and make a winning pitch?

It is assumed that Harper will get at least that much money, if not more, on the market. The reactions from the White Sox and Phillies on Tuesday put that into question, even if Harper’s marketability likely makes him more valuable off the field than Machado. Still, the Phillies remain the favorite in the eyes of many of the national media to land Harper.

The Padres took Manny Machado off the board, but they may still be in the running for Harper. The only other known potential suitors are the Nationals (if they will rejoin the bidding after Harper rejected the team’s reported 10-year, $300 million deal in October) Giants.

After reports that the White Sox, Padres and Phillies all preferred Machado to Harper the race for Harper is still an intriguing one given what happened on Tuesday.

 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado is heading to the Padres, and Chuck, Guff and Rick Hahn are all disappointed

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado is heading to the Padres, and Chuck, Guff and Rick Hahn are all disappointed

Well, the moment we've all been waiting for came today... but it was a disappointing conclusion for many White Sox fans. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber all react to the news that Manny Machado will play in San Diego next season, and we also hear from Rick Hahn and Jon Jay. First, the guys go over the differences between the Padres and White Sox offers (2:20) and Vinnie explains why Sox fans who are complaining that the team wasn't willing to pay up to land Machado are just plain wrong (2:55). Then, were Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams blindsided by Machado's decision (06:40)? Finally, hear Rick Hahn's full press conference (12:31) and Jon Jay's full press conference (26:13).

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: