Free agent shortstop Manny Machado spurns the Chicago White Sox to sign with the San Diego Padres
News of Manny Machado’s reported deal with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday hit the Chicago White Sox like a punch they never saw coming.
The White Sox made a strong push to sign the free agent shortstop this offseason and believed they put forward the best offer. The disappointment in the voice of Executive Vice President Kenny Williams was palpable when addressing the media after news Machado signed with San Diego broke.
“Very surprised. There are a few other words you can put on that,” Williams said. “Still in a little bit of disbelief.”
Machado has agreed to sign a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The 26-year-old hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBIs with the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018.
Despite missing out on their top free agent target, Williams credits General Manager Rick Hahn and owner Jerry Reinsdorf for doing all they could to bring him to the South Side of Chicago.
“I feel we put our best foot forward. Jerry in particular really stepped up,” he said. “If the offer that I’m seeing … is true, then actually our offer had the opportunity … to surpass that.”
The moves the White Sox made this offseason seemed geared toward attracting Machado. They signed his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, in December and his close friend Jon Jay in January. Glove maker Rawlings even tweeted out a picture of Machado’s new equipment, a set of black-and-white gloves, the team colors of the White Sox.
None of these moves worked. Losing out on Machado leaves Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson to fill the left side of their infield. The White Sox are coming off a season where they lost 100 games for the first time in 48 years. They haven’t made the postseason since 2008. Despite this setback, though, Williams still believes the team is set up well for the future.
“The reason why we were going after him in the first place is because we are positioned to do some good things here moving forward,” he said.
The White Sox have several top prospects waiting for their opportunity. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez is the third-rated prospect in baseball. Top pitching prospect Michael Kopech showed flashes of his stuff in four games for the big league club in 2018 before having Tommy John surgery that will sideline him until 2020.
These prospects aren’t Machado, however. The White Sox will instead have to make do in 2019 with what they already have and the realization they came oh-so-close to signing one of the top hitters in the game.