In my original Machado/Harper free agency preview, I mentioned something about how during this offseason, there would be some tweet or leak that would cause the productivity of White Sox fans to fall to zero. That happened this week, multiple times.
On Monday morning, Jon Morosi was the first of many national writers to finally realize that the White Sox mean business. Throughout the week, countless writers wrote similar pieces or made note of the White Sox in the Machado/Harper bidding, including stalwarts Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman.
But the most exciting rumors of the week did not come from national writers, and they did not really involve Manny Machado.
By now, you’ve all seen this photo. You weren’t supposed to have seen it. In fact, the person who originally tweeted it ending up making his account private, then changing his Twitter handle, and then deleting his account altogether. White Sox fans are thankful for this man, as just seeing the name “Bryce Harper” next to a White Sox logo instantly sparked fantasies and new rumors.
The above banner is most likely part of a video presentation that the team is preparing for Harper. Such presentations are standard, and every team includes them in their pitches. Regardless, the concrete proof that the Sox are indeed recruiting Harper, combined with the reports all week that the team is a serious contender for Machado/Harper, is certainly exciting.
Once the photo went viral, there were whispers that Harper was spotted in Chicago, would be at the Blackhawks game, and was meeting with the Sox the next day. There is no proof that he was/is in Chicago, nor was he spotted at the Blackhawks game, but chances are high that the White Sox have either met with him in person already or will do so in the near future.
One other minor detail from the picture is the fact that the Sox are pitching #34 to Harper. Michael Kopech recently posted a picture on Instagram of a #34 tattoo he recently received and wrote in the comments, “If we sign Harper he can have . I’ll just pay for him to get that tattoo as well. I feel that’s only fair”. Additionally, Nicky Delmonico, who has played on youth teams with both Harper and Machado, was flooded with “recruit Harper!” comments on his latest Instagram post, and he liked most of these comments.
What started off as an exciting week for White Sox fans only got better, and we can expect more of the same as free agency heats up. I still do not expect either of the two premium free agents to sign before December, but I do expect more leaks and rumors by then. What we do know is that the recruiting has begun for generational talent, and the Chicago White Sox are reportedly all-in on making a franchise-altering move.
Featured Photo: Designed by Brandon Anderson