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.