“We will have the financial resources available for us to go down swinging.” That quote is straight from the mouth of Rick Hahn, the man who has sold White Sox fans everywhere on this full-scale rebuild they are currently in. Hahn, of course, was talking about going after premium free agents this offseason in his answer. Sox fans, we were lied to.
Manny Machado was seemingly “the guy” for the White Sox all along. They traded for his brother in-law, Yonder Alonso. They signed his best friend, Jon Jay. Hahn got creative, so props to him on that front. However, the Sox did every single thing to land Machado other than write a big enough number on a check. What do the we have to show for it? Two average, at best, big leaguers who don’t get them any closer to a World Series.
Machado is headed to sunny San Diego for $300 million over 10 years. Do those numbers sound familiar? That’s what most known baseball writers reported the “big fish,” Machado and Bryce Harper, would ask for this offseason. If the Sox truly had the “financial resources available” how could they not match that contract from San Diego? Why would they lead fans to believe they were going to land one of these talents if they weren’t ever going to meet their asking price? Ask the guy who is incompetently running not one, but two Chicago franchises into the ground.
Jerry Reinsdorf has always had a reputation of being cheap. This, for the most part, has been debatable, but not anymore. Kenny Williams stated that the Sox could not go to $300 million guaranteed for Machado. Why not? Financial resources weren’t fully available? Reinsdorf and the Sox brass tried to lowball Machado and they got burned. Embarrassed. Kicked to the curb. Sox fans, we were lied to. Bamboozled. Humiliated. Are we surprised? Anyone who knows this team and this owner surely is not surprised.
It isn’t often a potential Hall of Fame-type talent hits free agency at 26 years-old. In order for an MLB player to hit free agency that young, they have to start their service time at 19 years-old. That is beyond rare. These long contracts are dangerous, but Machado is a special case. A good chunk of those ten years he’s now under contract for will be played in his prime. If the Sox were finally going to break the bank for premium talent, now was the time and this was the guy.
What’s even worse was Hahn made fans believe that Machado was coming. He openly discussed Machado at SoxFest a few weeks back. He stated he’d be “disappointed” if they didn’t land him. They left a locker open at Spring Training between Jay and Alonso. That was all stupid. Not only did you miss out on the guy who would step in and immediately be your best player, you completely enraged your fan-base in the process. 2-2, Rick.
What’s next? Well, who knows? Hahn will likely get in front of microphones in the coming months and try and sell us on the prospects he has amassed. He’ll sell us on a shortstop with a lifetime on-base percentage of .286. He’ll sell us on the former number one prospect in baseball who has yet to show that potential. Hahn will show us how much fun Yolmer Sanchez is. But what Hahn likely won’t do is get Jerry Reinsdorf to open his wallet.
Tough day for the organization. Tougher day for Sox fans. Who knows, maybe one day the Sox and Reinsdorf will surprise us and break the bank on a premium free agent. However, do any Sox fans have confidence in that happening? Stay strong, Sox fans. Pour a stiff drink, you m̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ will need it.