We are officially in the offseason, meaning free agency has begun and fans can start grasping for any sort of rumors or hints regarding their favorite teams. Let’s take a look at everything that has been going on with free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper this week.
The annual “[Team] is not interested in [player]” tweets have begun for Machado.
There have been whispers that the Yankees and Phillies, arguably the biggest threats to sign Machado, are no longer interested or less interested in him due to his postseason antics. Personally, I think this is just an example of teams trying to decrease his value by giving him less negotiating leverage, but the rumors are still worth sharing.
The White Sox are reportedly preparing a presentation for Machado and his group to show him how they plan to win with him in the fold, according to Barstool Sports’ WhiteSoxDave. If teams truly are less willing to pay Machado what he wants due to his unique postseason, the White Sox could potentially benefit by being the most interested contender.
Bryce Harper is also the recipient of some of the aforementioned tweets, but not to the same extent as Machado. In the meantime, Harper was selected as the MLB 19 The Show cover athlete, and he is wearing a black and white jacket in the current iteration of the cover, which will be changed once he signs with a team.
I believe that Harper chose black and white to reduce speculation. If he had chosen red, for example, the Phillies rumors would be abundant. Black and white are neutral colors which are not really associated with any one team- well, aside from the White Sox.
I don’t feel nearly as confident about the Sox being in the mix for Harper as I do about them at least being a finalist for Machado, but if you want to read into the jacket choice more, Harper is a close friend of Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico. He also has liked Yoan Moncada’s pictures on Instagram in the past. He seems to like the city of Chicago, but it appears as if the Cubs may not be able to afford him:
That’s really as much smoke as there is with Harper and the White Sox, but I do at least expect Hahn to keep tabs on the market and pounce if Machado signs elsewhere/the price is lower than expected.
That said, I do think the market will move faster than it did last year. Harper may not sign until January, since his agent, Scott Boras, generally prefers to wait for his high-profile clients to sign. Machado, however, is not a Boras client, and he could conceivably sign with a team around the winter meetings, which are from December 9-13 this year in Las Vegas. Until then, it will be interesting to track rumors and general interest in these players.
Bryce Harper posted this on his Instagram story this afternoon. Notice the hat?