Offers for Manny Machado are shockingly low

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!

  • Kristen Sprague

    Yeah but on the other side, he’s such an asshole and dirty player. I never root against millionaire players vs billionaire owners with this exception. In his situation only I think it’s karma

  • Peter Gentleman

    I don’t actually think it’s collusion. I just think teams have stopped giving a shit about winning, and are only concerned about maximizing profits.

    It would certainly explain a ton of other moves in the league as well, like the Rays routinely releasing their best players, and the Indians wanting to trade away their ace despite being the favourites in the Central.

    • Manny b

      Billionaire owners definitely don’t need to be defended, but I don’t know that the Rays aren’t trying to win. They’ve had the same MO forever and it has worked for them in the past.

  • Peter Gowdy

    I’m not big on either Machado or Harper. Machado is the real star, but he’s a dickwad who I wouldn’t want on my team. Harper has had one elite season and a bunch of mediocre seasons. It would be taking a big risk to pay now for something less than ideal on the basis of your theory about the new CBA clamping down on this possible collusion.

  • Regulator Johnson

    Manny Machado at FA: 25 years old, 926 games, 34 bWAR
    Jason Heyward at FA: 25 years old, 835 games, 30 bWAR

    Why do we think that Machado deserves more than twice as much as Heyward got?

    • The Humungus

      Probably because Machado is a historically good defender who’s WAR comes from bat and glove, and Heyward provided a large chunk of his WAR from baserunning, which doesn’t age as well as bat and glove.

      Player A: 25.7 oWAR, 11.3 dWAR, 252 oRAR, 121 OPS+
      Player B: 18.1 oWAR, 8.3 dWAR, 184 oRAR, 114 OPS+

      Now which one is work more? When you take out baserunning, which we all know ages the worst of the skills unless you’re a freak like Rickey, Machado’s been worth over 10 more wins than Heyward with a skillset that ages better.

  • Chappy

    Owners are not colluding they are tired of getting the shit end of bloated contracts, there are almost no examples of high end contracts that ever work out. Stanton’s will end up being a lose, Rodriguez was a lose, Davis massive lose, Tulo lose, over and over again. How many times do teams have to sign guys to Pujols size contracts, have them never pay off, to realize that these contracts make no sense. Guess what, the owners/front offices have figured it out, signing guys like Harper and Machado don’t bring championships. Signing guys to wealthy reasonable contracts like Boston did last year with Martinez does. Their not colluding, their using their goddam heads!

    • The Humungus

      The original a-rod deal (10yr/252 with texas) was not a lose. It was the one signed with the yankees after the opt-out that was.

      A-rod was the same age as these guys when he signed that 10yr deal with texas.

      This is not rocket surgery. Both of them are solid candidate for a 10 year deal.

      • The Humungus

        Just for references sake, A-Rod produced 71.4 bWAR during the time frame of the original contract. Steroids or no, if a guy averages even 5.0 WAR per year from age 26-35, he’s worth $400-500M in current baseball economy of free agent WAR (assuming $8-10M per WAR is the going rate).

  • Jeff2sayshi

    It’s not collusion, so much as it is that 75%-80% of teams are opting to not be in on the free agent market, because they’re not trying to win. They’re “rebuilding”, or in the middle of a “process”.

  • Out of Left Field

    Why shouldn’t the Blue Jays or any other team with high probability generational talent in the upper levels of their respective minor league pipeline go after YOUNG free agents of this magnitude? Especially when the free agents are being undervalued against previously speculated projections with traditional big spending teams appearing to be sitting this round of free agency out.

    Any rebuilding team with what could realistically have 3 or 4 players in the starting line-up earning major league minimum still with 5-6 years of control each should be strongly entertaining the possibility of taking the chance of such signings…..even more so if the team hails from a major city and just so happens to have to compete against the likes of the Yanks and Boston. Hell give me two guys with all star potential each making $35M a yr. bookended by 2 more buys with borderline all star potential each making 500K no matter how many times I work the math it still comes out to 4 potential all star level players collectively averaging $17.75 annually.

    Offer them a shorter higher annual average contracts front loaded with large signing bonuses….6 years $210M gives them both a chance to free agency again after there age 31 season.

    In short the Jays should go after both invigorating the city and the next generation with a clear message they are here to win. Now is the time with upcoming payroll flexibility to get do it.

    • The Humungus

      Payroll flexibility is already here, man.

      Per Cot’s, they’re already down $40M from 2018’s final number, and that includes Tulo’s full buyout and what they’re paying on Martin, plus 10 pre-arb guys (including Vlad Jr and a chunk of the bullpen).

  • Rob Ray

    Machado’s agent didn’t seem to mind when the media speculated that Manny would get $250 to $330 million dollars. Now that it’s leaked he was offered only $175 million he takes a bold stand against “negotiating contracts through the media”. This Lozano clown must think we’re all a bunch of idiots.