Featured Image from: southsideshowdown.com
Good evening folks, tonight we welcome the unofficial “official” start to the offseason as the GM Meetings open in Carlsbad, California this week. Most of the time during these meetings, it is more about getting the foundation of deals and getting the feel for new General Managers around the league. Or even talking about changes around the game, with this years theme revolving around a change in the trade deadline, it is much more dormant than it’s brother, the Winter Meetings which will be appropriately held in Las Vegas this year due to the high stakes free agents in this years class. But for those very reasons, this years GM Meetings could be the most active of those in recent memory. Let’s take a look at the massive rumors that came from day one of the meetings as it pertains to our Sox.
Jon Paul Morosi, Ken Rosenthal, and Jon Heyman all mentioned the White Sox being “in” on mega-star Manny Machado, including Jon Paul Morosi having them not just in on Machado, but in on both Manny and fellow 26 year-old franchise star Bryce Harper. You read that right, both of them.
The articles raise a huge question that wonders if it is possible for the White Sox to sign one of or both stars to their own mega-deals, and as it’s incredibly improbable, the White Sox are one of two teams in the Majors that have the available payroll to offer both stars their own respective lucrative contracts, with the other residing in the city of brotherly love, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies have available payroll, a good young core, and needs at both positions. The big obstacle for the Phillies is with Bryce Harper, who would replace the talented Nick Williams or the stable Odubel Herrera which are not particularly attractive options when Rhys Hoskins was one of the worst defensive outfielders in the Majors last year. Hoskins had to move to left field for Carlos Santana’s $60 million contract last winter. Other than that, they’re a great fit for both Machado and Harper.
The White Sox have no obstacles for signing either, they would have to non-tender Avisail Garcia for Bryce Harper, but that’s not an issue for me at least. And as far as Machado, I think he would have to start at third base and maybe end back up at shortstop later. The point is that Jerry Reinsdorf could turn into Mike Illitch and start spending money like he never has before at a later age, realizing that his time may be running low to get another winner. Both men (Harper and Machado) are going to command $30+ million dollars per year, and with the Sox’s payroll topping out at $140 million (estimation) and only having around $40 million after projected arbitration salaries and pre-arb salaries, signing both would only bring them up to $100-110 million per year. Now I’m not advocating that we buckle ourselves financially for the future, look how the Cubs are having to operate this offseason, and how terrible the Tigers rebuild will be due to the Miguel Cabrera and Jordan Zimmerman contracts, and I don’t want to end up like either situation. But then again, we can’t control when either men will become free agents again or what kind of capacity their talent will be once they are. So maybe it is time to capitalize on this financial opportunity the White Sox have given themselves.
Let’s just hope the rumors and aggressive outlook that Rick Hahn is giving is for real and isn’t just smoke in the room waiting to clear out to reveal Lonnie Chisenhall, Bartolo Colon, and Chase Headley hiding behind it.
On a side note, I want to point out how weird and awkward that both the Giants and Orioles went to the meetings without General Managers and are still doing their hiring processes. The Giants have been aiming for higher-up candidates such as the Brewers’ David Stearns, The D-Backs’ Mike Hazen, and the Cubs’ Jason McCloud, but recently have put the Dodgers’ GM Farhan Zaidi on the top of their wish list, so we’re waiting on an answer from the Giants. The Orioles on the other hand, are a complete mess. There is absolutely no other way to put it. Nobody has any idea about what’s gone on since they’ve dismissed their Manager-GM duo of Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. The Orioles are easily the most messed-up organization in baseball, and I personally hope that they find either a manager or general manager soon since they have neither, baseball needs a historical franchise like Orioles.