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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: Astros, Alex Bregman agree to five-year, $100 million extension

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Fox 26’s Mark Berman reports that the Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman have agreed to $100 million contract extension. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart confirms a deal has been reached and adds that the deal is actually for five years, beginning after the 2019 season. The contract will cover all three of Bregman’s arbitration years and two years of would-be free agency.

Bregman, who turns 25 years old later this month, has quickly become one of the best third basemen in baseball. Across parts of three seasons, he has hit .282/.366/.500 with 58 home runs, 208 RBI, 224 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. FanGraphs credited him with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tied with Francisco Lindor and Christian Yelich for the fourth-best mark among position players in baseball, trailing only Mookie Betts (10.4), Mike Trout (9.8), and José Ramírez (8.0).

This is obviously a smart move for the Astros, as this contract extension will secure Bregman’s age 25-30 seasons. With second baseman José Altuve also locked up through 2024, and presumed extensions to come for Carlos Correa and possibly Gerrit Cole and George Springer, the Astros have a core that they can build around for years to come.