Not surprisingly, the White Sox have injected themselves into the bidding war for Manny Machado and/or Bryce Harper. I say not surprisingly because the White Sox have shown themselves to be very good at pretending to be serious suitors for top-of-the-line free agents. For instance, not TOO long ago the Sox excitedly announced they were in the market for free agent Alex Rodriguez. They proudly stated that they were even willing to go up to as much as $200 million in order to obtain his services. Unfortunately for them, the Texas Rangers barely topped this offer by a mere $52 million. But what the heck, engaging in this game of headline grabbing didn't cost the Sox a penny and they were able to get boatloads of free publicity in the process. You see, in the game of pursuing free agents, you don't have to risk a penny to get in the game. All you have to lose is your credibility with your fan base, which is something the White Sox have excelled at in recent years
Of course, I could be wrong about the White Sox. For all I know they are serious contenders for the services of either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, maybe both, who knows? I mean, after all, I thought Hillary was a shoo-in to be America's first woman President, so I've been wrong before. But I think I'm on solid ground in my skepticism about the White Sox and the search for a high impact free agent. My reasoning goes like this. I'm pretty sure the Sox will have to pay a huge premium in terms of dollars to even have a chance at signing either of these two players. Why? I'd have to cite one hundred years of baseball failure. From 1918 to 2018 the White Sox have won exactly ONE World Series championship. In the last ten years, the White Sox have made the playoffs exactly ONCE! Fact is, you can't argue with the numbers, the White Sox have been consistent losers through most of their history as a franchise. So if either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper want to play for a winner, they're going to have to cast their eyes elsewhere.
Wait! I know what White Sox fans are saying to themselves right about now. "Sure, we're lousy now but just wait until all of our prospects come up to the White Sox from the minors, we'll be totally awesome!". Really? Did you happen to watch Yoan Moncada play last year? He hit .232, struck out over two hundred times and did NOT handle the glove at all well. Or you can cast your eyes at the Lucas Giolito's pitching statistics if you want to be even MORE discouraged. While his record was near to .500 his earned run average was well over six, among the worst of any starting pitcher in the major leagues. Then, of course, there's Michael Kopech. While his first couple of starts were electrifying, he ended up blowing out his elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery so who knows if he'll ever be the same pitcher? Dane Dunning also ended up with a sore arm and Jake Burger is recuperating from not one but TWO Achilles tendon ruptures. I could go on and on. Luis Robert spent more time on the disabled list than on the field and Micker Adolpho finally made it out of the hospital and onto the field, which is not to say that the vaunted rebuild will be a complete failure. It just goes to show that rebuilds are not foolproof.
Now if I, a mere fan, can discern these things, just imagine the pile of unfavorable factors Manny Machado's and Bryce Harper's agents can unearth. This doesn't mean that it would be impossible for the White Sox to sign either of these two super stars, it just means that the price they would be forced to pay would be a lot higher than if either of these two players were to sign with either the Yankees or Dodgers. The key question is, "Will Jerry Reinsdorf be willing to peel off the hundreds of millions of dollars to ink either of these two superstars to a long term contract? Would he risk that much money to get a player like Manny Machado, who has shown a marked proclivity to avoiding hustle on the ball field? Would he invest a record amount of money to sign Bryce Harper who seems to alternate between fantastic and mediocre seasons at the plate and in the field? It's possible. After all, Jerry Reinsdorf at age 83 could be sick and tired of watching lousy baseball in a half full stadium. He might be willing to go all in in order to produce a winning franchise, if for no other reason than getting things in order to sell the franchise when he passes off this mortal coil! But given the man's history, I doubt it. And thus I believe he and the White Sox will miss out on this year's crop of superstars as they have throughout Mr. Reinsdorf's somewhat ignominious history as a franchise owner
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