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Report: White Sox offer Manny Machado seven years, $175 million

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Buster Olney of ESPN just reported that the White Sox’ current offer to free agent Manny Machado is for seven years and $175 million.

Buster frames that information as a question: if that’s the best offer Machado receives, would the Yankees jump back into the bidding, which they seem to have abandoned. I think the better question is “if this is the best offer Machado has right now, why aren’t there a dozen or more teams trying to beat it?” Because 7/$175 million for a player of Machado’s age and talents is a stone cold bargain.

That deal breaks down to $25 million a year, which at present — unless I’m missing someone — would tie him for the 13th-highest annual salary in baseball. Guys making more than that include Jason Heyward, Albert Pujols, Jon Lester, Felix Hernandez Yoenis Cespedes, David Price and Jake Arrieta. To say that Machado, who is 26 years-old, puts up near-MVP offensive numbers and plays a premium defensive position passably and an important defensive position excellently, is not worth substantially more than that is insane talk. To say that he’s nor worth more than seven years given how old he is now is equally insane.

This deal could be beat with fewer years and the same money, disposing of the alleged fear teams have of offering a player a contract that is too long. It could be beat with a longer contract and less of an annual outlay which makes the risk of a long deal — that it might financially hamstring a club — nonexistent. There is no team that could not afford Machado at this price and hardly any teams who would not be improved by his presence.

If this is where the bidding for Machado tops out, something is very, very broken in baseball’s labor market. Possibly intentionally so. Short of that, there is no rational reason whatsoever that only two or three teams would be in on that action.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.