MLB Rumors: Chicago White Sox Could Target Bryce Harper, Among Others, In Free Agency

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Bryce Harper to the Chicago White Sox in 2019? Not so fast. However, the White Sox have come up with a strong plan which could make them players for Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and other top MLB free agents during the offseason.

After the second week of the MLB season, The Ringer published a story about how the Chicago White Sox may have put together a strong blueprint to build a baseball team. According to the report, the White Sox will be in prime position to make a run at not one, but a few of the top free agents in baseball this winter.

Given the health status of the Chicago White Sox payroll going into the offseason, there lies a possibility that they could have just over $11 million owed on the books. With such few financial restraints, the White Sox can easily venture into free agency and offer a top free agent a massive contract.

Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper will be the biggest name to hit the free agency market. It is no slam dunk that he will re-sign in Washington. What is a given is the number of teams vying for Harper’s services could exceed 15 clubs. One of those teams will assuredly be the Chicago White Sox.

If things work out the way that the Chicago White Sox front office hopes, their cache of a pristine payroll and young players on the cusp could be difficult for a player of Bryce Harper’s status to deny.

Another factor to consider when thinking about the White Sox as buyers on the open market is the possibility that free agency could be as stingy as this past winter. If so, the asking prices for a free agent such as Bryce Harper may be modified some.

Josh Donaldson swings for the fences.
While Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Josh Donaldson has terrorized the Chicago White Sox in the past, he could become their target in free agency.Featured image credit: Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

A little less than 10 months ago, it was the belief that Bryce Harper could command upward of $400 million, courtesy of CBS Sports. MLB free agency moved to a crawl this past winter, with few bloated contracts handed out.

According to the Washington Post, an eight-year agreement in the ballpark between $250-300 million has been suggested as what Bryce Harper may seek instead. If there is any truth to that speculation, a team such as the Chicago White Sox stands as good a chance as any.

A possible pitch the Chicago White Sox can put together for Bryce Harper is the idea of pairing him with another prized free agent, such as the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado. If Harper rebuffs the White Sox, they could turn their attention to Toronto Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson instead.

There have been some words exchanged between Josh Donaldson and members of the White Sox in the past. During a series earlier in the season, Donaldson had a gripe about the use of a whistle.

Chicago White Sox first base coach Daryl Boston blew a Fox 40 whistle while Donaldson was headed to the plate, according to the Chicago Tribune. A clearly irked Josh Donaldson hit a home run, then mimicked the whistle in retaliation. It is doubtful that Josh Donaldson would deny the White Sox from an opportunity to offer him a contract due to the incident.

Manny Machado will likely become a priority for the Chicago White Sox, regardless of what the other free agents do. In fact, Machado could be the White Sox top target in what will be an interesting offseason.

Landing Bryce Harper might be a dream for the Chicago White Sox, but getting Manny Machado is a realistic possibility. Doing so could convince another big free agent of Harper’s stature to see the White Sox differently. Adding two top free agents could push the White Sox 2019 payroll to $75 million. That is an excellent place to be for a team looking to build wisely.