Manny Machado, along with Bryce Harper, has stood as one of the biggest prizes on baseball’s free agent market this offseason. The 26 year old shortstop (or third baseman if you are less bullish on his abilities at short) has a career slash line of .282/.335/.487 and is coming off a 2018 season where he posted an .905 OPS with 37 home runs with the Orioles and Dodgers. In short, players of his caliber at his age do not become free agents often and when they do....well, they get paid.
Given the healthy nine figure deal he has been expected to sign, Machado’s market has developed slowly this offseason with the Phillies, White Sox, Yankees, and others all showing real interest in bringing Machado into the fold. The White Sox have been particularly aggressive in their pursuit not only in terms of their willingness to pay for his services, but they have also brought Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay (two players who are very close to Manny) into the organization in recent weeks. Now, it appears that they have moved to the official offer phase of negotiations.
The Chicago White Sox have offered Manny Machado an eight-year deal and could be compelled to go even longer, league sources tell ESPN. The Phillies remain in on him as their Bryce Harper pursuit heats up. The latest on the biggest free agents, at ESPN: https://t.co/UojB6trmDX— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 14, 2019
Passan’s report is illuminating on multiple fronts. First, this is the first real, substantive reporting on an actual offer on the table for Machado that we have heard. While we don’t know the AAV of the deal that is on the table, it seems reasonable to expect that it could be north of $30 million a year somewhere.
The other part of Passan’s piece is that despite the fact that the Phillies seem to be fairly deep into negotiations with Bryce Harper (who will command a healthy nine figure salary himself), Philadelphia is still very much in the mix for Machado as well. It seems unlikely that Philly could pay BOTH Machado and Harper and that they are simply hedging a bit, the prospect of them signing both players is an exciting pipe dream.
Stay tuned folks, the hot stove is heating up.