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What's next for White Sox without Machado?

February 19, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Missing out on Manny Machado was a gut-punch for the White Sox, especially with the work put in across the organization in trying to finish a deal with the premium free agent.It certainly doesn't represent any sort of stopping point during this Spring Training, let alone the

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Missing out on Manny Machado was a gut-punch for the White Sox, especially with the work put in across the organization in trying to finish a deal with the premium free agent.
It certainly doesn't represent any sort of stopping point during this Spring Training, let alone the big picture of the rebuild.
Here's a look at a few options ahead for the team.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Infield re-alignment
The move of Yoán Moncada to third base already was discussed on Monday by manager Rick Renteria. It moves Yolmer Sánchez to second, while still giving Sanchez the opportunity to continue working around the infield. Ultimately, a spot at second is opened for Nick Madrigal, the team's top pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and a player with an advanced skillset potentially moving him quickly to the Majors.
"This is a young man who is extremely gifted, who we all love everything about him," Renteria said of Madrigal. "No question about it. We're going to give him an opportunity to continue to get his feet wet in professional baseball."
Bryce Harper
Two meetings have reportedly taken place between the White Sox and Harper, so the interest could remain for the talented outfielder and fellow premium free agent. If the White Sox will not go to $300 million guaranteed, though, it might be a tough deal to lock down.
"I don't want to get into anything moving forward," White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams said. "I concern myself with the global perspective of where we are, and the day-to-day stuff I'll leave to [general manager] Rick [Hahn] to address. Try to get better every day."
"The only thing I can say is two-fold," Hahn said. "This isn't about one guy, whether that person is in the big league clubhouse or Minor League clubhouse or future draftee on college campus or free-agent target. That said, we will continue to be aggressive on premium talent."

Free agency or trade
A Joc Pederson trade with the Dodgers has been spoken about previously. There also are quite a few remaining free agents who can help the White Sox, short term and possibly long term. Maybe mix in another veteran possibility for the starting rotation or even another outfielder.
Build their own superstars
Eloy Jiménez? Michael Kopech? Luis Robert? Dylan Cease?
The potential certainly is there within this talent-rich system.
"Maybe we do, and I'm OK with it," Renteria said. "The way that Rick and Kenny and [chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] have allowed us to restructure the organization as we move forward through trades and acquisitions has given them a little more flexibility as we move forward. Hopefully we'll be able to tap that when we need to."
Work with what they have
Even without Machado or Harper, the White Sox should be an improved team in 2019. There's a quiet sense of confidence in the clubhouse regarding good things to come, possibly even this season.
"We have a chance to do some damage and you never know what's going to happen," said outfielder Jon Jay, a free-agent acquisition and close friend of Machado. "You see a lot of teams do it every single year and why not us? If we come in here and prepare the way we need to prepare then we're going to have a chance."

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