White Sox majority owner Jerry Reinsdorf wants to win another World Series and signing Bryce Harper and Manny Machado might be the next steps toward getting that done. Last month, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported the White Sox would be in on both superstars.
Why it Might Happen
The White Sox are moving into the next stage of their rebuild. It’s clear, Chicago sought to put themselves in this position when they chose to rebuild around the assets they received from the Chris Sale trade to the Boston Red Sox, and the Jose Quintana deal with the Chicago Cubs.
The White Sox acquired top-notch young talents like Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, and Michael Kopech in those deals, and they signed Luis Robert. Moncada is already with the big club, Jimenez could arrive in 2019, but Kopech who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and Robert aren’t expected to make an impact until 2020.
It’s not surprising, the White Sox have the second-lowest payroll in the major leagues, but the tanking has provided the organization financial flexibility.
The White Sox could approach Harper with the kind of deal that’ll get his attention, and might even meet his lofty standards when it comes to years and money. They also have the financial flexibility to chase the market’s other biggest free agent, Machado.
Clearly, there are no guarantees they can ink either one, but getting Machado might help the final recruiting stages with Harper, or vice versa.
Who Might Be Moving On
The White Sox shouldn’t have to move anyone, at least not from a financial standpoint. The team has some young outfielders who are merely stopgaps until Jimenez, Robert, and Blake Rutherford make it to the majors. At least one of those spots would belong to Harper in this scenario.
Also, the White Sox have Tim Anderson at shortstop. He found his power swing in 2018 and he stole a career-high 26 bases, but he’s still a .258 hitter at this point in his career. Because Machado wants to play shortstop and Moncada is entrenched at second base, Anderson could be the odd man out if the White Sox dreams of landing Harper and Machado were to come true.
All disclaimers aside, what would the South Siders lineup look like if they added both Machado and Harper?
2B – Yoan Moncada
SS – Manny Machado
RF – Bryce Harper
DH – Jose Abreu
1B – Yonder Alonso
LF – Eloy Jimenez
3B – Yolmer Sanchez
C – Wellington Castillo
CF – Adam Engel
If Moncada turns the corner as an offensive force, the White Sox could have one of the most devastating 1-4s in the American League. The bottom half of the order will likely depend on how quickly Jimenez can make an impact on the major league level.
There is no guarantee Jimenez will make his debut with the big club from the beginning of the season, but his .337/.384/.577 slash line to go with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games between both Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, sounds like the kind of production that will make him an everyday player soon.
In any case, this lineup looks a lot better than the one the White Sox ran on the field in 2018.