In the wake of this morning’s reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney (Twitter link) and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter link), in which both suggested that the White Sox’ current offer to Manny Machado stands at $175MM over seven years, Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano of the MVP Sports Group, issued the following statement to MLBTR and other media outlets:
I have known Bob Nightengale and Buster Olney for many years and have always had a good professional relationship with both. But their recent reporting, like many other rumors in the past several months, have been inaccurate and reckless when it comes to Manny Machado. I don’t know if their sources are blatantly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement by intentionally misleading them to try and affect negotiations through the public or are just flat out lying to them for other reasons. But the truth is that their reports on the details of the White Sox level of interest in Manny are completely wrong.
I am well aware that the entire baseball universe; fans, players, teams, and media members alike; are starved for information about this free agent market for all players, including Manny. But I am not going to continue to watch the press be manipulated into tampering with, not just with my client, but all of these players’ livelihoods as they have been doing this entire offseason. The absence of new information to report is no excuse to fabricate “news” or regurgitate falsehoods without even attempting to confirm their validity and it is a disservice to baseball fans everywhere when the media does just that.
Moving forward, I will continue to respect the CBA’s prohibition on negotiations through the media, and hope that others would do the same.
It’s an emphatic denial of this morning’s reports and a fairly rare step for an agent or team executive to take with regard to media reports. Lozano, though, clearly felt strongly enough to offer a firm rebuke of the information that has been put forth. The “White Sox level of interest” is in reference to the reported numbers on Machado’s offer this morning, rather than a commentary on Chicago’s desire to sign the player himself. At this point, there’s no clear timeline or indication as to when Machado’s free-agent saga will end.