Nearly at the midway point in January, two of the biggest MLB free agents in Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned. Their respective markets have begun to heat up in recent days, however, with the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies most prominently involved.
The White Sox have been considered one of Machado’s most serious suitors since the early portion of the offseason. That notion only gained steam with the club’s recent acquisitions of Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay — two of Machado’s closest friends in the sport.
With ample funds at their disposal and shortstop being a clear position of need, the White Sox are unsurprisingly willing to go beyond measures to secure Machado’s services.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the team has extended an eight-year contract offer to the four-time All-Star:
As the sweepstakes for baseball’s best free agents heats up, Manny Machado is sitting on an eight-year offer from the Chicago White Sox and is still engaged with the Philadelphia Phillies while their pursuit of Bryce Harper grew stronger with an in-person meeting in Las Vegas over the weekend, league sources told ESPN.
On the contrary, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Chicago hasn’t upped their previous contract offer of seven years:
The #WhiteSox have NOT increased their original 7-year offer to Manny Machado.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 14, 2019
Whether it’s in the form of a seven- or eight-year contract offer, one would think the White Sox have positioned themselves nicely to sign Machado when the dust finally settles.
The New York Yankees, a long speculated destination for the 26-year-old, seemingly dropped out of the race with their recent signings of D.J. LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki.
And while the Phillies remain a viable possibility for Machado, recent reports indicate that they have prioritized signing Harper after a successful face-to-face meeting in his hometown of Las Vegas.
Moreover, Machado’s most recent team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have not expressed serious interest in bringing him back to the fold. The club reportedly has not reached out to his camp since an initial conversation at the start of the offseason.