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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.

Tim Tebow homers in spring training game

Tim Tebow
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Mets minor league outfielder Tim Tebow hit a two-run home run during Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. It’s his first spring training home run since beginning his professional baseball career in late 2016.

Tebow, 32, is, of course, a former college football legend. He had a much-anticipated NFL career that ended up brief and disappointing, prompting a change of vocation. Tebow was passable with Double-A Binghamton in 2018, but the Mets promoted him to Triple-A for the 2019 season anyway. That was a mistake. Through 264 plate appearances, Tebow hit .163/.240/.255, ranking as the worst hitter in the minor leagues.

Tebow also walked along with the homer in three plate appearances on Tuesday. While it’s a solid early showing, Tebow participating with the other big leaguers or soon-to-be big leaguers in spring training is something of a sideshow. If he were a regular ballplayer working his way up the ranks, he likely would have been cut after last season. He certainly wouldn’t have been given an invitation to big league camp the next year.

There are aspects of the Tebow situation to respect: that he’s athletic and dedicated enough to attempt a professional career in another sport, for example. He moves tickets and merchandise. But one can’t help but wonder about the roster spot he’s holding that would otherwise go to a more deserving player.