Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Buster Olney reported that the White Sox’ offer to Manny Machado is for seven-years and $175 million. That is ridiculous. Even if you don’t like Machado, and there are reasons not to, he’s a 26-year-old player capable of winning an MVP award. He had to figure he’d get twice that amount of money. Do you think he takes the offer, or where do you think he ends up? – Steve S.
Well, first of all, if I rooted for a team that needed a player like Machado or especially Bryce Harper – and that’s pretty much every other team in baseball other than the Red Sox – I’d be furious that they weren’t in on the bidding.
These are elite, prime-of-career superstars. Every team should want one of the other (save for the Sox, who are pretty set in the outfield and at shortstop and have major contracts coming due). If there’s any broad takeaway from their apparent lack of a market, it’s that an ugly labor clash is coming – and possibly even a work stoppage – when the collective bargaining agreement is up in 2021.
Even if you’re one of those weirdos who would rather see owners get the money than the players, what’s happening now is very curious considering Machado might sign for a rate similar to what Manny Ramirez got from the Red Sox after the 2000 season.
Manny Ramirez got $20M a year for eight years. That was 19 years ago.
— Matthew Kory (@mattymatty2000) January 16, 2019
Maybe Mookie Betts won’t be a $400 million player, after all.
But to answer the question, let me put it this way: I remember when Johnny Damon was a free agent after the 2005 season, and the Yankees kept insisting he wasn’t their priority. I believe Brian Cashman even said something to the effect of, “Bubba Crosby is our center fielder.” It turned out that Bubba Crosby was their center fielder right up until December 2005, when the Yankees signed … Johnny Damon. When the Yankees indicate they are not interested in a great player, that often means they’re very interested.
I think the Yankees sign Machado, possibly for less than the White Sox offer. And Harper either goes to Philly or back to DC, though the Yankees should and could sign him, too.
But what does everyone else think? Where will Manny Machado sign? I’ll hear you in the comments.