The White Sox have officially made an offer to superstar shortstop Manny Machado and are in “constant contact” with fellow superstar free agent Bryce Harper, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The Chicago #WhiteSox are more engaged with Manny Machado than Bryce Harper at the moment, and have officially made an offer to Machado. They have yet to make a formal offer to Harper, but have been in constant contact.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 3, 2019
No details on the offer were released, but Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reported Wednesday that the White Sox were not going to offer 10-year deals to either Machado or Harper. However, the White Sox are hoping Machado will take their deal instead of going with the Phillies or Yankees, two teams that have also been courting the 26-year-old this offseason. In fact, Nightengale followed his initial bombshell tweet with another one saying that rival clubs think the Phillies “will make the highest offer” among any team going after Machado or Harper.
Now, of course, the #Phillies will be focused on Bryce Harper/Manny Machado. Rival teams believe the Phillies will make the highest offer to each of the marquee free agents.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 3, 2019
Levine said in his report that Machado and his camp will be decide soon on where to sign, while Harper — who has also met with the Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Nationals and Cubs — may wait until even February, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Whatever team or teams get them will certainly change their franchises and the landscape of baseball.
Machado is coming off the best season of his career in 2018, when he was traded to the Dodgers from the Orioles. He led all MLB shortstops in hits with 188 and posted career highs in home runs (37), RBI (107), batting average (.297), on-base percentage (.367), slugging percentage (.538), OPS (.905), and total bases (340). In doing so, he helped the Dodgers reach the World Series for the second straight year. Machado is a four-time All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove winner, with his Gold Glove honors coming while playing at third base for Baltimore.
Harper is coming off one of his better seasons in 2018 with the Nationals. The 25-year-old star left-handed hitter led all of MLB in walks with 130 and finished ranked in the top three among NL outfielders in RBI (second), OPS (second), runs created (second), runs created per 27 outs (second), homers (tied for second), runs (third) and extra-base hits (third). Harper is a six-time All-Star, a MVP winner (2015), a Rookie of the Year winner (2012) and a Silver Slugger winner (2015).