The ongoing pursuit for Machado looks set to continue for a little while yet. There are not as many teams involved as we might have expected, but it remains possible that he receives the 10-year, $300 million contract that looked probable a few months ago.
The White Sox have gone out of their way to make Machado feel at home. They traded for his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, who will play first base, and recently signed Jon Jay, Machado’s close friend. We will find out whether these moves make a difference to Machado’s decision.
Chicago have never handed out a contract longer six years before. That was given to Jose Abreu. The White Sox have been rumoured big players this offseason, but news of an eight-year offer is confirmation of their desire to land a marquee free agent.
Machado and his team may still be waiting for a year or two more. With prospects on the way and other big free agents available in years to come, it will be fascinating to see how far the White Sox will go.
With a small payroll and young, controllable players coming through, this is the time to spend. Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech (who is out for the year) and their other elite level prospects will be cheap for a while yet, though. It is not strictly Machado or bust for the White Sox.
The 2019 campaign might be a year too soon for them to compete, whether they land Machado or not. It is a rare opportunity that there’s an All-Star level, 26-year-old free agent, however. It is rarer still that only three teams are competing for their signature.
Splashing on Machado, or maybe Bryce Harper, might be premature for the White Sox. Machado, unlike many free agents, has many of his peak years left. He might not make them a contender right away, but the ambition of the White Sox to compete for the biggest stars this winter is welcome opportunism from a team who have struggled desperately for several years.