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Inbox: Would White Sox counter for Machado?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers fans' questions
January 31, 2019

CHICAGO -- Here are this week's White Sox inquiries.S, if another team gives Manny Machado a higher offer, will the Sox get a chance to counteroffer? Do you think they will? -- Daniel, @DanielGuinan5General manager Rick Hahn was clear, direct and eloquent at SoxFest when describing the entire Machado/Bryce Harper

CHICAGO -- Here are this week's White Sox inquiries.
S, if another team gives Manny Machado a higher offer, will the Sox get a chance to counteroffer? Do you think they will?
-- Daniel, @DanielGuinan5

General manager Rick Hahn was clear, direct and eloquent at SoxFest when describing the entire Machado/Bryce Harper pursuit. The White Sox are in on these premium free agents, even if people didn't expect them to really have a chance when this whole process began. Hahn also said he would be disappointed if the White Sox didn't convert on one.
Those comments indicate the White Sox weren't in this to simply make a one-and-done offer. While every team has a financial limit, as Hahn stated, the White Sox continue to carry that quiet confidence concerning their chances.
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Is there a contingency plan if Machado or Harper choose somewhere else to play? Or will they roll with what we have?
-- Tom, Stillman Valley, Ill., @baseballstahl44

The White Sox were still working on three or four deals, per Hahn at SoxFest, but those moves probably would be to complement what they have as opposed to going after another major free agent. If Machado or Harper go somewhere else, the White Sox will be right back in the market next offseason. The same holds true even if one of them chooses the White Sox.
In my opinion, it was great having Ozzie Guillen back at SoxFest, and he seemed genuinely excited to be within the good graces of the organization. Any chance the Sox will retire his No. 13? (I am well aware Manny Machado has worn No. 13.)
-- Nick, Chicago, @GoodGuysTB

It was great to see Guillen back with his White Sox family. The seminar reuniting Guillen with executive vice president Ken Williams (and Dewayne Wise) on Friday night at SoxFest was highly entertaining as expected.
Guillen wants to return to the White Sox, but made it clear he wasn't at the Hilton Chicago looking for a job. He would provide a unique perspective to younger players as an advisor in the organization, and he already did some television work in relation to Chicago baseball in 2018, so Guillen would seem to be a natural on the upcoming new network.
As for No. 13 being retired, Guillen deserves it for what he did as a player and as a World Series champion manager.
What will the rotation be by the end of this season?
-- Mike, Honolulu, @OrbitalCannon22

Let's start with Carlos Rodón, Reynaldo López, Lucas Giolito and Ivan Nova. Manny Bañuelos appears to be the leading candidate at fifth starter, but the White Sox still are exploring market options in that area. If you would have said July or August, I would have gone with Dylan Cease to join the first four.

I know many things are still in the works, but what do you think the starting lineup looks like in May 2019? Thanks, Scott!
-- Tom, Homewood, Ill., @tomaustin011

José Abreu at first base, Yoán Moncada at second, Tim Anderson at shortstop, Yonder Alonso at designated hitter, Eloy Jiménez in left field, Jon Jay in center and Daniel Palka in right. And at third base ... ?
I'll take the chance and go with Machado. The outfield could look a little different with Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico and Leury García also in the picture.
Better odds of happening: Sox land Machado or Michigan wins the men's NCAA basketball championship this year?
-- Mike, Warrenville, Ill., @MikeSox56

On April 8, it's just short of a guarantee John Beilein's Michigan Wolverines will win the national title in Minneapolis, so that's an easy question. I still believe the White Sox are the favorite to land Machado as of this Inbox.
How do I buy single-game tickets? I'm interested in buying tickets for Opening Day, but I can't find where to purchase them. I only see packages you can buy.
-- Angie, Chicago

I checked with the White Sox, and single-game tickets go on sale Feb. 13. The best way to stay up to date and get early presale options is to join the Black List, so you will have a chance to get tickets before the general public.
Where can I get a nice cup of hot cocoa?
-- Daryl, Parts Unknown, @CST_soxvan

You should probably make it at home until Friday morning if you live in or near Chicago. But it's going to be 45 on Sunday, and White Sox pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13. So all hope of warmth is not lost.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.