Tuesday, February 19, 2019

EXTRA: No ‘Manny’ coming to Chi!

We’re one week into the baseball spring training camps, and the Chicago White Sox can put a rest to all the speculation of big-name, high-priced athletic talent coming to the Sout’ Side.
Not returning to American League anytime soon

Manny Machado, the third baseman who says he wants to be a shortstop along with one of the highest-paid players in baseball, chose on Tuesday to sign with the San Diego Padres.

DEPENDING ON THE reports one trusts, the White Sox had a bid of some $175 million spread out over seven seasons, that might have increased to eight or nine years.

Big money by baseball standards. But in the end, Machado got a late offer from San Diego that is for 10 seasons at a total of $300 million. An offer the White Sox weren’t willing to try to match – which has some fans already up in arms about the Pale Hose being nothing but cheapskates.

Although others are going on rants complaining that Machado used the White Sox during the negotiations process so as to get someone else to cough up the big bucks!

I’m willing to bet that when (because of the concept of inter-league play) the Padres have reason to come to Chicago to play the White Sox in future seasons, Manny is going to find himself the subject of the most intense heckling he could ever imagine. He’ll be amongst the most hated athletes on the South Side of Chicago.
These ballplayers more important … 

ALTHOUGH IT WOULDN’T shock me if Cubs fans wind up rooting for Manny big time out of spite for so publicly spurning the Sox.

Personally, Machado’s not coming to Chicago doesn’t bother me too much. It’s not like he single-handedly would have turned the White Sox into a contending ball club. The chances of a championship at Guaranteed Rate Field any time soon is still based on the rebuilding process and all the minor league talent that likely will make it to Chicago between now and 2021.
… to White Sox future champ chances … 

Eloy Jimenez, the .311 hitter the past few seasons in the minor leagues, could wind up being the big-name ballplayer for the Sox for 2019 – and the team will be able to get away with a major league-minimum salary ($535,000) for him.

In fact, without Machado, the White Sox this year will have a total payroll of some $80 million – which puts them in the bottom fifth of Major League Baseball.
… than Machado would have been

NOW I’M NOT talking cheapskate rhetoric here – I realize that any serious effort to turn the White Sox into contenders is going to result at some point in a serious expenditure of cash to boost the payroll.

I’m just not sure that this particular year was THE YEAR to be doing so. It could wind up that a future year would be the best time to make a serious expenditure.

The reality is that if the White Sox are to become a serious ball club worthy of championship consideration, it’s not going to be because of a free agent purchase. It’s going to be because the young talent matures to its highest potential.

It will be because Jimenez becomes as worthy at the major league level as he has been while playing since 2014 in the minor leagues. It will be because Yoan Moncada will live up to the promise he once had back when he was regarded as the best minor league ballplayer overall.
Will Sox repeat process for Mike Trout?

AND IT WILL be because Michael Kopech recovers from the rotator cuff surgery to his shoulder and shows that the couple of major league starts where he excelled in 2018 just prior to his injury weren’t a pure fluke.

The real question as far as the White Sox short-term is what will become of their newly-acquired ballplayers Yonder Alonso (who is Machado’s brother-in-law) and Jon Jay (a long-time personal friend of the two). The White Sox had acquired both in hopes that it would create an atmosphere that would make Machado think the Sout’ Side was truly place for him to be.

Now, they’re just going to be unpleasant memories about what could have been. I can’t help but wonder how quickly they’ll be thrown into some sort of trade by the ball club to erase the stink of their negotiating failure.

Which could mean many White Sox fans will be rooting for a 2021 World Series against the Padres – perhaps hoping that the Sox ultimately win with Machado hitting into a game-ending double play!


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