White Sox in 'disbelief' after Machado reportedly picks Padres
Chicago White Sox executive vice-president Ken Williams said the MLB franchise are in "disbelief" after Manny Machado reportedly agreed the biggest free-agent contract in American sports history with the San Diego Padres.
According to reports on Tuesday, Machado has secured a 10-year deal worth $300million to play for the Padres, having represented the Los Angeles Dodgers during last season's World Series.
The White Sox were also interested in the four-time All-Star shortstop and felt they put the best possible deal on the table for the 26-year-old, leaving their front office stunned.
"Very surprised," Williams told reporters. "There are a few other words that you could put on that. Still a little bit of disbelief."
Machado's reported deal with the Padres includes an opt-out after five seasons and some deferred money.
The Athletic reported the White Sox made what turned out to be a final offer of eight years, $250m guaranteed — a higher average annual value — with additional incentives and options that could have maxed out at $350m.
While Williams and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn did not get into specific numbers in their media sessions, they clearly were shaken at not winning out after owner Jerry Reinsdorf agreed to back what would have been by far the most lucrative contract ever handed out by the franchise.
"The one thing that I can say, and I just told Rick this not long ago, and I will tell Jerry and our coaching staff and our players: I feel like we put our best foot forward, and Jerry in particular really stepped up," Williams said.
"If the acceptance of the offer that I'm seeing is true, then actually our offer had the opportunity for Manny to surpass that. But in the end, we went after the guy and obviously we didn't get him. Disappointed, but, hey, the reason we were going after him in the first place is we feel we are positioned to do some good things here moving forward."
Chicago's pursuit did not solely focus on the money. Earlier this offseason, the White Sox acquired Machado's brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, and signed one of his best friends, Jon Jay.
None of it was enough, though, and the men in charge were honest about their disappointment, with Hahn mentioning twice in two minutes how "raw" his emotions were after receiving the news.
"We said from the start that this rebuild was not going to be about one guy," Hahn said. "That it was never going to be about one star, it was never going to be about one acquisition. There are certainly elements of this pursuit that as an organisation I think we should be proud of.
"We should be proud of the aggressiveness and creativity of our offer, which we were told not only was extremely competitive, but if the reports that are out there are accurate, was superior to what was ultimately accepted in certain ways.
"That said, this is free agency. These players have worked extremely hard to get to this point and they have choices. In the end, deals of this length obviously are extremely complicated, with various moving pieces. We were aggressive in trying to balance the length of control with the upside, the flexibility, the risk that a contract like this would provide, and in the end we felt like we made a very compelling offer."