Chicago White Sox

Could the White Sox really sign Bryce Harper and Manny Machado?

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are set to break the bank, but could the Chicago White Sox actually get them both?

Speculation is and will be rampant regarding where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will land in free agency this winter, as both are set to break the bank. Plenty of teams will be somewhat in the mix for one of them, or maybe even both (see the Philadelphia Phillies), and according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com the Chicago White Sox are interest in both Machado and Harper.

The idea of the White Sox being interested in Machado and Harper can be diluted to one or the other, and it’s at best unclear if they have a legitimate chance to sign either. But let’s explore the possibility, however faint or unrealistic, that the White Sox could sign both guys.

As Morosi passed along, the White Sox have the second-lowest payroll commitment of any MLB team for 2019. First baseman Jose Abreu is also entering the final year of his contract, so if the White Sox traded him and his $13 million salary for next year the payroll would ease even further.

The White Sox had rumored interest, albeit on the periphery, in trading for Machado last offseason. They would be a substantial wild card to sign him in free agency now, and the odds the South Siders can sign Harper are even more remote.

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But the AL Central looks to be wide open right now. The Cleveland Indians are reportedly open to trade offers for prominent players, the Minnesota Twins are entering an offseason of change with a new manager and the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals are coming of 98 and 104-loss seasons respectively.

The White Sox lost 100 games themselves last season. But a push toward contention, or toward the top of the AL Central, is not out of the question this offseason if they’re willing to make moves in free agency and/or on the trade market. Harper and Machado are likely to wind up elsewhere, separately, but the White Sox could use the lure of being the face of a franchise to coax one or both into signing.

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