Free agent shortstop Manny Machado, who divided the 2018 season between the Baltimore Orioles — who drafted him with the third overall pick in 2010, per Baseball-Reference — and the Los Angeles Dodgers, has been expected by many baseball experts to land with the New York Yankees. But the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have also been seen in strong contention for his services — which have included 30-plus home run totals in each of the last four seasons.
But on Tuesday, a new serious contender for the four-time All-Star appeared on the scene. SportsNet New York baseball correspondent Andy Martino reported on his Twitter account that the San Diego Padres have been “very aggressive” with an offer made to the 26-year-old Machado.
“[Machado] doesn’t know if he wants to go there,” Martino wrote.
“Some in his camp pushing for shorter-term deal with Yankees. Phillies, White Sox also big on him, as you surely know.”
Though MLB.com reporter Matt Kelly noted that Machado may not want to join a “rebuilding” team such as the Padres, who finished last season in the National League West basement with a 66-96 record, the White Sox — reported to remain a top player in the chase for Machado — were even worse in 2018, ending up with a 62-100 record. Despite losing an even 100 games, the White Sox still avoided finishing last in the American League Central. That honor went to the Kansas City Royals, who racked up a 104-loss season just three years after winning the World Series.
Despite the fact that Machado has reportedly spurned a White Sox offer of $175 million over seven years, as the Inquisitr reported, a possible clue indicating that he may actually remain partial to the Chicago South Siders appeared on Tuesday, in the form of Machado’s choice of signature gloves.
— Rawlings Sports (@RawlingsSports) February 12, 2019
The black-and-white striped gloves, of course, match Chicago’s uniform colors. The choice may mean nothing, but MLB.com’s Kelly noted that Machado has previously chosen gloves that match his team colors, selecting a black-and-orange model in 2018 when he started the season with the Orioles. Machado then gave up the Orioles-colored gloves when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 18, per Baseball-Reference. But perhaps knowing that he did not plan on remaining with the Dodgers after the season, Machado never adopted the Los Angeles colors on his glove.
Whoever lands Machado, he is likely to provide good value. Fangraphs projects Machado compiling a slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) of.288/.356/.529 in 2019, compared to.297/.367/.538 in 2018.