It’s the middle of January and the two centrepieces of the most stacked free agent class ever are still unsigned. I talked about how Bryce Harper would be a perfect fit on the Blue Jays last week so now it’s time to talk about Manny Machado.
According to Buster Olney, Machado, who could perhaps be the better all-around player given how strong he is defensively on the left side of the infield, was offered a hilariously low contract from the Chicago White Sox. The offer, reportedly, was $175 million over seven years.
That’s a very, very, verrrrrrry low-ball offer. For the sake of comparison, MLB Trade Rumours had the “generational talent” making $380 million over a 13-year deal in their off-season free agent predictions. The $175 million offer for Machado would be less than the $184 million deal Jayson Hayward was signed for in 2016. Hell, it’s only slightly above the $161 million deal Chris Davis signed with the Orioles that same year. Earlier in the off-season, there were reports of Machado being offered $250 million, which is still nowhere near the Giancarlo Stanton sized contract of $325 million he was seeking.
And then there’s this from Jon Heyman, which makes everything seem even more fishy than it already is. Heyman says that “Machado might have erred” when he didn’t take the Yankees’ offer back in December and that New York would have paid more than $175 million “back then.” He’s insinuating that New York offered him something and now they’re going to shrug and take the offer back and push for lower. That all makes it seem like this White Sox “offer” is a planted leak to make the offer of another team seem a lot better. Heyman continues the Yankees PR routine by mentioning how stacked they are in the infield. Manny would practically have to BEG the Yankees for a contract at this point!!
Anyways, it’s become known that Machado is in this for the money and he’ll simply take the highest offer he’s given. I mean, if the White Sox are a realistic free agent destination, the Blue Jays can be too. Like with Harper, Toronto could use a mid-20s superstar who will help push their young core into contention. The Jays have depth in the infield, sure, but let’s not pretend they’re so loaded that they can’t add an MVP-calibre talent. Fuck, just throw Bo to second or Vlad to first. Who cares? Get just Machado’s bat in the lineup.
It obviously seems feeble to hope for the Jays to open up their wallets for a player like Machado or Harper, but if there ever was a time to swoop in, it’s now. MLB teams are so clearly colluding to drive down the prices of free agents. After the CBA expires at the end of the 2021 season, there’s no way teams will be able to get away with this anymore. Then, when Toronto is ready to spend they won’t be able to get free agents this good at this price.
Ross Atkins did say on the radio that the organization has considered a deal for Harper (and I imagine Machado too) so never say never, I guess! Just pony up the cash, goddamit. Be the big market team you should be.
Here’s a response from Machado’s camp, suggesting that this whole report is, in fact, a hoax. This is juicy!
Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, the agent for Manny Machado, released the following statement regarding recent reports: pic.twitter.com/MmKy9doaFz
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 16, 2019