Report: White Sox offered Manny Machado seven-year contract

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the White Sox have made a contract offer of eight years to free agent SS/3B Manny Machado. [Update: Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago’s offer to Machado is actually for seven years.] Machado, of course, has yet to make a decision and is still being heavily pursued by the Phillies and, apparently, another as yet unknown mystery team.

Machado, 26, is a highly desirable combination of young and elite, a mixture in players that has reached free agency less often in recent years as teams have gotten into the style of signing their young stars to multiyear contracts well before they are able to test the market. As a result, Machado and fellow 26-year-old free agent superstar Bryce Harper are expected to sign significantly lucrative contracts at some point before the start of spring training.

This is the first we’re hearing of specific contract offers made to either player at this point in the offseason. An eight-year offer certainly comes in under what many were predicting Machado would ultimately get — many had him fetching at least 10-year deal — but with the way free agency has gone lately, who knows?

Between the Orioles and Dodgers this past season, Machado slashed .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs, 107 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 709 plate appearances while playing terrific defense. At least at third base, anyway. Defensive metrics weren’t too kind to him about his glovework at shortstop in 2018. Machado’s preference is to play shortstop.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.