As an elite, in-his-prime player, Manny Machado isn’t the type of free agent who comes along very often in Major League Baseball. With that in mind, Machado (and fellow 26-year-old superstar free agent Bryce Harper) no doubt came into the offseason with designs on signing one of the richest contracts in the history of the sport. Entering the winter, MLBTR predicted Machado would eclipse Giancarlo Stanton’s record $325MM extension from 2014. Meanwhile, FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel and Fancred’s Jon Heyman forecast that Machado would earn less than Stanton, but they did peg him to surpass the $275MM guarantee Alex Rodriguez received as a free agent in 2007.
While Machado may still outdo Stanton or at least Rodriguez, his childhood idol, his future earning power looks far less certain two-plus months into his trip to the open market. Free agency has been a surprisingly protracted process for Machado – who, along with Harper – remains available just a few weeks from spring training. And there has been a stunning lack of publicly reported teams after Machado, who counts the White Sox and Phillies among his most ardent suitors. Reports over the past week have indicated the White Sox issued either a seven-year, $175MM offer or an eight-year, $250MM proposal to Machado, either of which would’ve looked like a light guarantee for him at the beginning of the offseason. However, agent Dan Lozano released a strongly worded statement swatting down those rumors and insisting “reports on the details of the White Sox level of interest in Manny are completely wrong.”
Shortly after Lozano sent his denial to the media, new reports emerged suggesting serious interest in Machado stretches beyond Philadelphia and Chicago. There are supposedly two unnamed teams in the mix for Machado, and one, it seems, has put out the richest offer for the four-time All-Star infielder. Machado is reportedly primed to choose the highest bidder, but it’s unclear how close he is to signing. When the former Oriole and Dodger finally does put pen to paper, though, do you expect him to reel in a record-breaking guarantee?
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