Despite recent reports that the White Sox have made an eight-year offer to Manny Machado, a parade of others are reporting that the team has not moved off of its previous seven-year offer. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that the ChiSox have not made any alterations to their original seven-year offer, which was put on the table about two weeks back. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score/CBS Chicago suggests the same, via Twitter, adding that the offer presently on the table to Machado is valued between $25-30MM annually. That’d peg Chicago’s offer somewhere in the $175-210MM range — well shy of Machado’s reported $325MM+ target.
- While the White Sox have gone to some unique measures to make Chicago a bit more appealing for Machado — acquiring his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, and signing close friend Jon Jay — SNY’s Andy Martino writes that Machado won’t be wooed by anything other than the largest offer (which goes without saying for the majority of free agents). More interesting from Martino’s report is the possibility of some dark-horse teams in the mix on Machado. While Martino acknowledges that the “mystery team” trope is overplayed and is “often mocked for good reason, we hear reliably that it’s true in this case.”
- The Indians are still dabbling in trade talks, but it doesn’t sound as if the team has much hope of moving Jason Kipnis. According to Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer, there was an effort to do so previously. But while an improved second half helped the Cleveland cause, the crowded second base market made it hard to find any traction. The 31-year-old has turned in below-average offensive seasons for two years running, but he’s still a useful player and has a significant established ceiling. The recent showing isn’t enough to justify his $14.5MM salary, particularly with another $2.5MM promised as a buyout on a 2020 option, but the Indians surely feel they can make good use of Kipnis in the season to come. For now, he’s penciled in at second base but his ability to play the outfield could give the Indians some added flexibility as they seek a means of improving their lineup.
- While a rumor sprang up this evening that the Braves had a deal with Marwin Gonzalez, that doesn’t seem to have any legs. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deports tweets that the Atlanta organization has not made any offers to the free agent, though it has shown interest in him. Presumably, the Braves see Gonzalez as a potential option in the corner outfield for the coming season. His versatility would be an asset, too, as he’d be capable of covering in the infield if a need arose in the near or long term. Of course, it remains unclear whether the Braves will pursue a multi-year deal with Gonzalez or another free agent, or whether they’ll try to wait out the market in hopes of securing a quality player on a short-term deal.