Machado?!

We interrupt this offseason for a special report. Rick Hahn and the White Sox hierarchy have lost their minds.

I don’t believe the rumors, but every reputable baseball writer and sports news outlet has claimed the Chicago White Sox are the front-runner for Baltimore Orioles superstar third baseman Manny Machado. My question, which may seem blatantly obvious to anyone that’s followed the White Sox rebuild since the big domino (Chris Sale) fell, is why?

The names that could be dealt are even more frightening to me. Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech are the guys Baltimore wants and who wouldn’t? Giolito, who was the Nationals number one prospect when he was acquired last December, pitched very well for the White Sox after being called up in August of this year, going 3-3 with a 2.38 earned run average. Kopech had 155 strikeouts and only allowed 77 hits in 119.1 innings last year. He can get his fastball past 100 miles per hour, and he’s currently the White Sox second ranked prospect behind Eloy Jimenez.

In fairness, numerous reports indicate the White Sox would only trade one of the two, not both. But that is definitely beside the point.

If this move happens, it will run counter to everything Hahn has espoused since the rebuild was officially announced. Also, keep in mind that Baltimore would almost certainly not accept just Giolito or just Kopech in a move for their star player, even though Machado is only signed for one more year and will become a free agent after the 2018 season. Other prospects would be required. Who would those prospects be? Giolito, Dylan Cease (acquired in the Jose Quintana trade from the Cubs), and Jake Burger (the White Sox 2017 number one draft pick)?   Kopech, Alec Hansen (the White Sox 2016 second round pick), and Micker Adolfo (emerging 21 year old minor league outfielder)?

Is Tim Anderson moved to Baltimore in this deal, or is he moved to centerfield for the White Sox?  It seems understood wherever Machado ends up, he wants to play shortstop.

As I mentioned, I don’t think this will happen, but I will be enormously disappointed as a White Sox fan if it does. Did Hahn watch the Royals, Cubs, and Astros rebuild?? Establish a young core of players at the major league level that you can win with long term (the White Sox have NOT done this yet), and THEN add an impact free agent or two to fill your remaining holes. The Machado trade would contradict an established template of success. How many holes, current and future, would the Sox be creating to acquire Machado?

Would the Sox make this deal without knowing Machado would re-up with them? That’s a horror movie scenario.

The silliest rumor: The Sox trade for Machado with the intent of moving him to the Yankees because the Orioles won’t deal with the Yankees. Complete nonsense. Why? One, if you do that, count on never making another deal with Baltimore again. That doesn’t seem like a Hahn type agreement to me. He strikes me as the guy who finds a dollar on a downtown street and spends two hours asking random strangers if it belongs to them. Flipping Machado to the Yankees because the Orioles would never trade him to the Yankees is a greasy move. That’s not Hahn.

Two, the White Sox minor league system is the best system in baseball. It isn’t necessary for them to trade three prospects to the Orioles for Machado, only to trade Machado 24 hours later for three prospects from the Yankees.

The Sox should have laid the groundwork for moving Jose Abreu and Avi Garcia at the winter meetings. Those are the last two trade pieces the Sox have until Nate Jones proves he’s healthy, or if Wellington Castillo is in demand at the mid season trade deadline. Instead Hahn is wasting his time discussing Machado. I don’t understand.

Please stick to the plan.

Next:

  1. If all the top prospects mature according to plan, what could Opening Day 2019 look like?
  2. Let’s compare Marcell Ozuna and Jose Abreu to see what the Sox might get if they moved him now.

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