It was reported months ago that Bryce Harper received and rejected a 10-year, $300 million contract from the Nationals near the end of the 2018 regular season, but it's been a bit more unclear where the market stands on Manny Machado, numbers-wise. Until now, that is. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the White Sox have offered the premier shortstop seven years and $175 million.
The White Sox offer to Machado is for $175 million, over seven years. In some ways, their approach is like Boston's w/ J.D. Martinez last winter -- the Red Sox offered $100 million and waited for two months. If CWS offer emerges as best, a big ? is: Would Machado/NYY re-engage?— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) 16 de enero de 2019
USA Today's Bob Nightengale echoed Olney's report, stating that Chicago first extended that offer two weeks ago and hasn't felt the need to raise it since.
The #Whitesox made their 7-year, $175 million offer about two weeks ago and haven’t felt the need to alter it, and bid against themselves . Just like Martinez last year with #Redsox as @Buster_ESPN points out, whose only other known offer was a one year proposal from #Dbacks https://t.co/NJSiooQXep— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) 16 de enero de 2019
Previous reports Monday stated that the White Sox's offer was for seven years and $250 million. If the White Sox are indeed offering $175 million, that total is well below market expectations for Machado, who has excelled both offensively and defensively at two premier positions on the left side of the infield, and remains just 26 years old. Machado's early targets were topping either Alex Rodriguez's record 10-year, $275 million free-agent deal from 2007 or even Giancarlo Stanton's 13-year, $325 million extension with the Marlins in '14. But the dwindling number of interested teams (Machado's current market may be down to just the Phillies and White Sox) means the demand from the club side might not be there to satisfy Machado's desire for a record deal.
That said, Machado should still be able to net a larger deal than Chicago's reported offer when all is said and done. Olney speculates whether the White Sox are playing a waiting game with Machado, similar to how the Red Sox began their negotiations with J.D. Martinez last year by offering a low price initially and then waiting until late February, when Martinez eventually lowered his asking price, to sign him. Boston was essentially the only player besides the incumbent D-backs in the Martinez sweepstakes at this point last winter, and so there was a similar lack of incentive for the Red Sox to keep raising their offer.
But waiting could be risky for Chicago; the Phillies, by all indications, can match the White Sox dollar-for-dollar and owner John Middleton has talked about spending "stupid money" -- though reports this week have Philadelphia favoring Harper over Machado. A starting point that low could also help the Yankees re-emerge after New York has largely sat out of the Machado sweepstakes due to competitive balance taxconcerns. Other mystery teams could also jump in if they feel Machado could be signed for less than $200 million.