MLB Rumors: White Sox Still A ‘Strong Factor’ In Manny Machado Free Agent Race, Padres Also In, Report Says

Free agent slugger Manny Machado remain the 'first choice' of the Chicago White Sox front office, according to reporter Ken Rosenthal.

Manny Machado talks on cell phone.
Rob Carr / Getty Images

Free agent slugger Manny Machado remain the 'first choice' of the Chicago White Sox front office, according to reporter Ken Rosenthal.

Despite rumors linking free agent infielder Manny Machado to a $240 million, eight-year offer from the San Diego Padres, as the Inquisitr reported, and even to the New Yoke Yankees, the Chicago White Sox remain very much a player in the race to sign the 26-year-old former Los Angeles Dodger and Baltimore Oriole, according to a new report Monday evening.

“#WhiteSox remain strong factor along with #Padres in Machado sweepstakes, sources tell The Athletic,” wrote Athletic senior writer Ken Rosenthal on his Twitter account, at 8:42 p.m Eastern Time.

“Machado is said to be first choice of both front offices and preference of #Phillies’ front office as well, though ownerships in SD and PHI might not see it as convincingly.”

Earlier reports claimed that Machado has already waved off a $175 million, seven-year offer from the White Sox — but Machado may have given a hint of his interest in going to Chicago anyway, ordering his new signature model glove in the White Sox team colors of black and white, as a Twitter post by the Rawlings sporting goods manufacturer revealed.

But Jeff Todd of the site MLB Trade Rumors speculated that Machado and his agents may merely be using the White Sox’s reported interest in acquiring him as “leverage” to drive his price up with other teams, notably the Padres and Philadelphia Phillies.

There also remains the possibility that clubs may be simply be put off by the expected high price tag for Machado, who did not even rank in the Major League Baseball’s newly crucial statistic known as WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. Machado in 2018 posted only a 5.7 WAR, according to Baseball Reference.

Mookie Betts celebrates a home run.
Boston’s Mookie Betts led MLB in WAR last season, but Manny Machado didn’t make the top 10. Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images

American League 2018 Most Valuable Player award recipient Mookie Betts led MLB in the WAR category, which is designed to calculate the number of teams wins a player was worth, compare to a statistically typical “replacement level” player, in order to “summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic,” according to the statistical site FanGraphs.

WAR has become an increasingly important statistic in evaluating free agents, with Fangraphs estimating that each WAR point is worth $10.5 million in salary in free agency.

Betts recorded a 10.9 WAR in 2018, per BR, while Machado would have placed 23rd overall in MLB. Even by calculating WAR using offensive statistics only, Machado ranked just 25th in MLB, while the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout led, followed by Betts, according to an ESPN ranking.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Padres’ offer to Machado may have been as high as $280 million over eight years.