White Sox

White Sox reportedly miss out on biggest-ever free-agent splash as Manny Machado heads to Padres

White Sox reportedly miss out on biggest-ever free-agent splash as Manny Machado heads to Padres

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox rebuild is still on track, but they’ve reportedly missed out on making what would have been the biggest free-agent addition in team history.

Manny Machado, one of the two 26-year-old superstars on this winter’s free-agent market, is going to the San Diego Padres, according to a report from ESPN's Jeff Passan, passing over the White Sox and their vision of the future in favor of a deal worth a reported $300 million over 10 years.


The White Sox pitched Machado on being front and center in the transition from rebuilding mode to contending mode and starring in a situation where the organization’s highly rated prospects would rise to the major league level and grow around him to form a perennial contender.

Well, the Padres pitched the same thing, with an equally loaded farm system and an equally bright future. It was reported that Machado would end up taking the richest offer, and the Padres — who handed out a nine-figure contract Eric Hosmer last offseason — might have simply outbid the White Sox and everyone else vying for Machado’s services for the better part of the next decade.

A big-time acquisition might have seemed to be a year early for the rebuilding White Sox, and it’s true that even adding a player the caliber of Machado might not have made them a playoff contender in 2019. But as general manager Rick Hahn has mentioned several times this offseason, it’s out of the White Sox control when superstar talents like Machado become available, and the South Siders were looking to capitalize on the opportunity to make Machado the “finishing piece” of this project, even if it hasn’t reached the finish line quite yet.

It will not at all be surprising to see detractors pop up on social media, those complaining that the White Sox aren’t willing to spend big money for the game’s most elite talent. Hahn said during SoxFest that he hopes to dispel of what he called a “false narrative” surrounding the franchise, saying: "We’d love to disprove that during the coming weeks. We certainly have extended offers that would ruin that narrative, if accepted, but we're not there yet. So if for whatever reason we fail to convert this time around, perhaps that narrative will exist for another year, but we look forward to proving that one false like we have the others."

And that’s the biggest takeaway now that the White Sox will head into 2019 without Machado or potentially Bryce Harper, the game’s other top free agent who the South Siders were pursuing: These opportunities will come again, and they’ll come soon. Whether that’s via a trade utilizing the farm system’s remarkable depth or via the next round of free agency, which is jam-packed with star players, remains to be seen. But there are many “Plan Bs.” And the team’s commitment to being in the mix for the best players in the game moving forward is something Hahn hammered home during SoxFest.

“We belong at the table in these negotiations, we belong as part of negotiations for premium talent,” he said. “And regardless what happens over the next several weeks with either of these two players, we plan to be at the table and continue to attempt to convert on these guys.”

Machado is obviously a game-changer for the Padres. He’s a four-time All Star, a two-time Gold Glover and a three-time top-10 finisher in American League MVP voting. He’s fresh off a career year that featured a .297/.367/.538 slash line, 37 home runs, 107 RBIs and a trip to the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired Machado in a midsummer trade with the Baltimore Orioles, where he spent the majority of his first seven seasons in the majors.

While the Padres play in the National League West, far away from crossing paths with the White Sox, South Side baseball fans are going to start to harbor quite a bit of resentment toward that franchise. Before they beat out the White Sox for Machado, the Padres pulled off a trade with Hahn’s front office that brought Fernando Tatis Jr. to Southern California. Tatis was just 17 years old then, but he’s now the No. 2 prospect in baseball.

Machado would have been a very nice addition to help steer this rebuild into the final phase. But the White Sox long-term plans never hinged on him, and the White Sox will move forward, full steam ahead.

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Tim Anderson wants South Side to 'stay prepared' for return of White Sox baseball

Tim Anderson wants South Side to 'stay prepared' for return of White Sox baseball

Baseball will be back at some point.

And when it returns, Tim Anderson wants the South Side to be ready.

“Stay prepared,” the White Sox shortstop said during a Friday conference call. “When the time comes we’re going to need the same energy. And I know they’re going to be hungry to cheer us on. We’re going to be hungry to play. We need both energies to match when we step between the lines.

“I know they’re excited, we’re excited too. It’s going to be great when we do start back up, the fans are going to be really excited and the energy is going to be crazy. I can’t wait to see what happens.”

Fans across the country are waiting for their favorite teams to return to action as Major League Baseball joins the rest of the world in pausing in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. White Sox fans are perhaps a bit more impatient than others as they continue to wait for the start of the most anticipated season of South Side baseball in years. This was supposed to be the White Sox emergence from years of losing, a vault from rebuilding mode into contending mode.

Instead, the moment requires even more patience from a fan base that’s already been waiting more than a decade to see their team return to the postseason.

The players are sitting through the same wait. As excited as fans are to see the White Sox turn a corner and play winning baseball, the team is just as excited, if not more. Manager Rick Renteria was talking playoff expectations as early as the end of the 89-loss 2019 campaign. Positive momentum and big expectations were the talk of spring training.

And now Anderson and his teammates, just like South Side fans, have to wait to do what they were so excited to begin.

Not that this delay to the start of the 2020 season has changed those expectations one bit.

“I think we stay positive,” Anderson said. “I think it's just more time to prepare, more time to think about it. And when it's time to get back rolling, that way we're ahead of people already and we know exactly what we need to do.

“It's going to happen regardless. Whatever's going to happen is going to happen anyway.”

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Remembering White Sox great Ed Farmer

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Remembering White Sox great Ed Farmer

On yesterday, White Sox nation lost a legend in the passing of broadcaster and former player Ed Farmer. Host Chuck Garfien and NBCS Chicago White Sox insider Adam Hoge discuss memories of Ed Farmer and react to comments made by Ed's broadcast partner Darrin Jackson, and former White Sox players Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.

(2:00) - Ed Farmer was one of a kind

(7:09) - Darrin Jackson remembers his friend Ed Farmer

(11:50) - Ed Farmer bled White Sox

(17:40) - Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski discuss what Ed Farmer meant to them

(22:14) - The time Ed Farmer got into a brawl as a White Sox

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

White Sox Talk Podcast

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