Next year at SoxFest, if the stars align, a gargantuan contract is offered and a certain free-agent shortstop/third baseman believes his baseball future belongs on the South Side of Chicago, the White Sox will introduce Manny Machado as the grand prize to their rebuild to a frenzied crowd of Sox fans at the Hilton Chicago. If it happens (and we’ll get to the “if” in a moment), you’ll be able to credit chairman Jerry Reinsdorf for giving Rick Hahn the enormous funds to make it happen. But you’ll also be thanking their new catcher Welington Castillo for being the White Sox ace in the hole in luring Machado to 35th and Shields. “He’s my friend. We are tight,” Castillo told NBCSportsChicago.com about Machado. “I called him a few weeks ago. We were texting and I was doing FaceTime with him.” Really … So, were you FaceTiming him about possibly signing with the White Sox next offseason? “Just to play around, I said, ‘I hear that you’re going to go to Chicago.’ He said, ‘That’s what I hear, too. That’s a rumor.’ I said, ‘Hey, I want you to be in Chicago, too.’ He said, ‘I’m going to play whatever they want me to play.’” Shortstop? Third base? I don’t think the White Sox will mind where. The larger question is how? With big-spending teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers potentially in the mix next winter for Machado, who could command a contract of $300 million or more, how will the White Sox be able to compete considering the largest free-agent contracts they’ve ever signed were to Jose Abreu (six years, $68 million) and Paul Konerko (five years, $60 million)? Hahn revealed in a SoxFest seminar on Friday that the White Sox have actually made multiple offers to players in the past that exceeded $100 million.
White Sox have a secret weapon in next offseason’s pursuit of Manny Machado
NBC Sports Chicago | Jan 29