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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.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.