CARLSBAD, Calif. – Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. To the White Sox. Both of them. That was the buzz of…
CARLSBAD, Calif. – Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. To the White Sox. Both of them.
That was the buzz of the day Monday, as baseball’s general managers started to gather in Carlsbad, California, for their annual meetings: that there was a desire to bring both of the game’s biggest free-agent superstars to the south side That’s one way to kick the rebuild into overdrive.
While Rick Hahn has spent the last couple of years telling reporters that the White Sox are making a habit of breaking preconceived notions – they launched into a full-scale rebuild, they made a blockbuster deal with the Crosstown rival Cubs and just before this whole process started they spent huge on the international signing of Jose Abreu ̵
1; this would be one heck of a hard turn, one heck of an alteration to carefully laid rebuilding plans.
The reasoning Jon Morosi (the national writer who set White Sox Twitter ablaze to start the week) gave in his MLB.com writeup about which teams might be interested in the services of Machado and Harper, this was:
“After the (Philadelphia) Phillies, the White Sox are perhaps the best candidate to pursue both Machado and Harper – although there is no guarantee they will land either. At present, the White Sox has the second-lowest payroll commitment of any MLB team for 2019. With Jose Abreu entering his final season before free agency, the White Sox needs a new face of the franchise. “
Seriously? The White Sox has a low payroll and “need a new face of the franchise”? That’s enough to make them a top candidate to hand out what’s expected to be one of two of the biggest contracts in baseball history?
First, these players have to want to come to the White Sox. Machado has been discussed as wanting to head to the Bronx and play for the New York Yankees. Harper is the game’s biggest name and it figures he will go play for one of its highest-profile franchises. The White Sox, in contrast to the Yankees, the Cubs, the Dodgers and even the reconstructed Phillies, can pitch the ability of winning a championship right now. In de meeste van deze gevallen kunnen deze spelers zich schuiven in roosters zo stacked ze lijken op dynasties in de making. The White Sox, with their wealth of highly-touted prospects, could have that someday, but that someday is not today. Those four teams, and others, can point to being one of the best teams in the game. The White Sox can only point to plans to be one of those elite groups.
And that’s before mentioning the money. The White Sox do have a low payroll and could very well be committed to spending huge sums on the player or players that will push their rebuild over the top. Men det betyr at de kan eller vil tilby de slags kontrakter, der vil skære Machado og Harpers øjne væk fra nogle af baseballens største spenders? Can they outbid the Yankees? Outbid the Cubs? The Dodgers? The Phillies?
These are two big ingredients to land just one of the game’s best players, never mind both, and they were left out of Morosi’s recipe for breaking the bank on the South Side.
On top of all this is de feit dat splashing op een paar gratis agenten deze winter, de winter in directe nadruk of een 100-verlies campagne, zou een heck of een harde beurt in deze herbouwproces zijn. Hahn’s rebuilding plans have seemed so carefully laid, and the topic of every conversation is patience. That became a difficult quality to display during the 2018 season, and there are plenty of White Sox fans on social media who appear ready to jump off the rebuilding train in the wake of Yoan Moncada’s 217 strikeout season and Michael Kopech’s Tommy John surgery. But with Kopech, Dylan Cease, Luis Robert, Dane Dunning, Nick Madrigal and more, the future remains incredibly bright – if people will just wait long enough to get to it.
Obviously signing one or two of baseball’s best would improve this roster, and with the types of contracts Machado and Harper are expected to get, it would have to improve it in the long term, the period of time in which Hahn has consistently been focused on for the last two years. Simply spending money does not necessarily blow up those rebuilding plans because all those prospects would still get their chance to develop into the White Sox of the future. But signing Machado and / or Harper would blow up the contention timeline once again because when you sign a guy like that – let alone the head-spinning suggestion of signing two of them – you’re saying you’re ready to win now. Otherwise why would either guy sign at all? Machado has already had the opportunity to be the best player on a bad team, and Harper’s never really got a taste of championship-level baseball, as his Washington Nationals never even reached the NLCS. Should not both want to start chasing rings now? Especially after Machado got so close this October with the Dodgers.
Add Machado and Harper to this current White Sox roster and does it make a championship contender? Does it even make a playoff team? This team needs starting pitching after the rotation walked more guys than any other in 2018. It needs bullpen help after ranking 23rd out of 30 major league teams in bullpen ERA. Machado and Harper can not help with either of those things, and how much flexibility could Hahn’s front office possibly have to improve the pitching staff if it hands out $ 500 million to those two guys?
A serious look at the White Sox and hun chances to land two of the game’s greats might not be as fun, not as video game-y as the wild speculation. Men det endes med at give de mest realistiske muligheter.