Welp, I guess I can scratch “White Sox news during Bears Super Bowl weeks” from my list of potential offseason posts. White Sox single-game spring training tickets go on sale today, if that’s any consolation.
Of course, the excitement around said spring training games rests on the White Sox landing one of the two big fish in the free agent pond, and there have been no material updates on that front since Friday, when Bob Nightengale said the Sox made Manny Machado a formal offer. It says something about the state of free agency that the “formal offer” stage in late January fails to register. Nightengale’s characterization of ” likely closer to $200 million than $300 million” suggests that there are still offers and counter-offers and mystery teams to go.
As for Bryce Harper, three different reporters offered three different characterizations of the White Sox’ chances.
Nightengale: ” The White Sox have yet to make a formal offer for Harper but remain in constant contact.”
Jon Heyman: “Chisox seem like a long shot at the moment.”
Daryl Van Schouwen: “The Sox’ presentation impressed Harper more than he anticipated.”
“Forget it, Jim, it’s BorasTown” is basically my approach to the specifics with Harper, and the inanity surrounding Machado’s courtship may be fast approaching.
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Catching up on the weekend’s worth of transactions:
*The Indians acquired Kevin Plawecki, a catcher who occasionally surfaced in Offseason Plan Projects because he never got a great shot with the Mets. He became available when the Mets signed Wilson Ramos, and the Indians were short a catcher after trading Yan Gomes to Washington.
(By the way, Ken Rosenthal said the Mets moved on to Ramos after Yasmani Grandal rejected a four-year deal in the range of $60 million.)
*The Mets picked up Keon Broxton, another somewhat popular figure in the Offseason Plan Project. from Milwaukee reliever Bobby Wahl and two low-level prospects. Broxton’s low acquisiton cost, along with a history of power and speed in center field, made him an appealing buy-low target, although unraveling plate discipline caps his potential.
*The Yankees signed Zach Britton for a deal that’s three years long, unless it’s two or four. After the first two years and $26 million, the Yankees can add a $14 million option for 2022. If they don’t, Britton can opt out then and there. But if Britton doesn’t opt out, then he’ll fulfill the third year of the deal for another $13 million before reentering free agency after the 2021 season.
Britton’s deal apparently doesn’t close the door on Adam Ottavino, and I imagine it doesn’t preemptively remove them from Machado discussion, either.