So much for a quiet winter on the South Side.
Late Wednesday night, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal dropped a bomb on White Sox fans, tweeting that the club has emerged as serious players in the Manny Machado talks:
A surprising team emerges as the most aggressive suitor for Machado. The latest: https://t.co/8emZ0hh1yH $— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 14, 2017
USA Today's Bob Nightengale then reported that the Sox offer is the best one the Orioles have received thus far:
The news comes as a bit of surprise given that the Orioles star has only one year left on his contract, and striking a deal would mean the Sox would have to part with at least one coveted prospect with no guarantee that Machado would stick around.
Per Rosenthal, the prospects being discussed are Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech, but both would not be included in the same package. Still, a hefty price to pay for the possibility of a one-year -- albeit All-Star caliber -- player.
As outlined earlier by Vinnie Duber, GM Rick Hahn wasn't keen on the idea of giving up a future piece for a stopgap, but he also wouldn't slam the door on taking a leap of faith to acquire a young, proven player.
"Sometimes you need to be creative. Sometimes you need to perhaps take a risk," Hahn told reporters Wednesday at the Winter Meetings. "I think it’s probably slightly easier after a player has been part of this organization, understand what we’re about, to extend him as opposed to meeting him cold free agent and trying to sell him on the organization. We’ve had success with both, so we’re not afraid to do either, but perhaps there is a little advantage from time to time to have a guy already be on campus when you’re talking about extending him into the future."
Rosenthal also made mention that if the White Sox couldn't get Machado to sign an extension during the 2018 season, the club could consider moving him to another team to acquire more prospects.
If indeed Hahn & Co. are willing to take this risk, it seems as if they're banking on their clubhouse culture to convince the star to stay.