Manny Machado expected his agent to deliver him massive contract offers this winter, but his market hasn’t materialized. Can Dan Lozano come through?
When MLB free agency began the prevailing wisdom claimed that Manny Machado would receive one of the biggest contracts in baseball history. It’s now the middle of January and that kind of offer hasn’t materialized. Predictably, his agent is starting to panic.
MVP Sports represents Machado and specifically, Dan Lozano is the guy running point on his free agency negotiations. He took to the media on Wednesday to refute various media reports that claimed the White Sox had offer his client a seven-year, $175 million contract.
Specifically, Lozano suggested that sources who informed prominent media members about the White Sox interest in his client were quite possibly being “intentionally misled.”
Lozano’s assertion is that certain baseball people are trying to artificially suppress Machado’s market by leaking these “false” reports to the media. If that accusation is proven to be true, it will have massive consequences for the parties involved.
MLB’s CBA specifically prohibits anyone from tampering with a player’s potential compensation. If Lozano can identify the guilty party, they could be forced to compensate his clients for his unrealized earnings.
The agent’s implicit message is that the 26-year-old superstar has offers that exceed the White Sox’s reported offer. Many baseball insiders believed Machado would find a team willing to offer him a deal worth $300 million when free agency began.
Machado’s market is certainly being negatively impacted by the small number of teams that seem to have genuine interest in signing him. Almost every team in baseball would love to have a player with his talent, but questions about his effort level continue to dog Machado.
Combine that with the fact that quite a few teams already have quality options at his positions and it’s easy to see why a lot of teams have elected to stay out of the fray.
Currently, the White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies seem to be the two teams who have surged to the top of Machado’s list.
The Yankees are still lurking, but their recent decision to sign D.J. LeMahieu sends a clear signal that they are prepared to go in a different direction if negotiations escalate out of their comfort zone.
There have been rumblings about a possible mystery team, but those reports seem more like leaks from Machado’s representatives than anything else at this point.
Even though it seems as if Machado has been on the open market forever, the reality is Lozano and company still have time on their side. There are still roughly 100 days left before pitchers and catchers start to report.
Machado could easily let his free agency extend for another month or two and have plenty of time to show up on time for spring training with his new team.
That has to be the message Lozano is preaching to Machado now. Otherwise, he may have to admit that he’s not going to be able to deliver the riches everyone expected.
That kind of failure will cost Lozano big money in terms of his commission on Machado’s deal, but it also could damage his reputation with other potential clients. If he can’t get a 26-year-old MVP candidate a big-time contract, what hope do lesser players have?
Lozano still has time to come through for his client, but the clock is definitely ticking. Whatever happens with Machado will go a long way towards determining his future ability to continue representing some of baseball’s biggest names.