January 17, 2019
The Manny Machado free agency is kind of going as expected. And when we say that, we mean things are getting a little out of hand.
With the "negotiations" dragging on and really no hard news available, Machado's camp more or less went crazy over a report from Bob Nightengale and and Buster Olney (two of the most reliable sources in the industry) that the White Sox had offered Machado seven years and $175 million. This, of course, to a player who is only really being shopped by three or four teams who was rumored to potentially net somewhere near $400 million when free agency began.
Here's what Machado's agent said in a press release:
I have known Bob Nightengale and Buster Olney for many years and have always had a good professional relationship with both. But their recent reporting, like many other rumors in the past several months, have been inaccurate and reckless when it comes to Manny Machado.
I don’t know if their sources are blatantly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement by intentionally misleading them to try and affect negotiations through the public or are just flat out lying to them for other reasons. But the truth is that their reports on the details of the White Sox level of interest in Manny are completely wrong. I am well aware that the entire baseball universe; fans, players, teams, and media members alike; are starved for information about this free agent market for all players, including Manny. But I am not going to continue to watch the press be manipulated into tampering with, not just with my client, but all of these players’ livelihoods as they have been doing this entire offseason.
The absence of new information to report is no excuse to fabricate “news” or regurgitate falsehoods without even attempting to confirm their validity and it is a disservice to baseball fans everywhere when the media does just that. Moving forward, I will continue to respect the CBA’s prohibition on negotiations through the media, and hope that others would do the same.
Maybe this, too, is a negotiation tactic? Maybe Machado was so pissed off about the offer he demanded his agent respond? Maybe the reporting is actually wrong, as a ton more teams would likely pounce at the chance to sign Machado at the rate the Sox reportedly offered him.
No one really knows, and will know anything until Machado pulls the trigger — which would be another few weeks.
Spring training arrives for many teams on February 13 — less than a month away. All of this will be over soon, we promise.
In the mean time, follow along with our open thread and live chat as the news continues to stream in on Machado, Bryce Harper, and all the other available MLB free agents:
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