CHICAGO -- The White Sox made a formal contract proposal to free agent infielder Manny Machado on Thursday, as reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale. The team did not comment on the report. Nightengale characterized the long-term offer as serious and likely closer to $200 million than $300 million, citing four people with knowledge of the offer who spoke on condition of anonymity. Nightengale also reported that Chicago has yet to make a formal offer for fellow premium free agent Bryce Harper, but remains in constant contact.
Machado visited the White Sox on the Monday following the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. He also made visits that week to the Yankees and Phillies who, like the White Sox, have expressed interest in both Harper and Machado.
According to Spotrac.com, the White Sox currently have $35,516,668 committed to their pre-arbitration payroll for 2019. In the midst of a rebuild, Chicago has the flexibility moving forward to sign Machado and Harper, although it's not certain if that situation will play out for any team.
Bringing in Machado as the team's third baseman would add to the infield mix featuring Tim Anderson at shortstop and second baseman Yoan Moncada. Jose Abreu and recently acquired Yonder Alonso, who is Machado's brother-in-law, will split time between first base and designated hitter. The White Sox are coming off a 100-loss season in 2018 but are selling Machado and Harper on the bright future with one of the best Minor League systems in the game and being able to become the face of the franchise.