The particulars of the White Sox rejected-offer to Manny Machado are slowly leaking out, revelations that are absolutely necessary to mute the angry mob of White Sox fans dismayed by the news this afternoon.
The Chicago #WhiteSox's final offer to Manny Machado was an eight-year, $250 million guarantee with a $35 million option in 2027 a $35 million option in 2028, making the potential total worth $320 million. The option years vested with 550 plate appearances the previous season
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 19, 2019
It’s still a mystery how the salary would have broken down over the first 8 seasons, but the AAV is $31.25 million. Given the vesting clause, it is safe to assume the last two years were team options. Incentives could have boosted the total value of the contract to $350 million, but it is also unknown where the incentives were embedded.
Second source says total value of #WhiteSox offer could have reached $350M if all options were vested and every incentive was reached. But Machado, as believed all along, wanted the $300M guarantee. https://t.co/EXd83w2Xkt
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 19, 2019
The extra $70 million that would have automatically vested with 550 plate appearances seems an easy mark for Machado. Machado has failed to reach that threshold only twice in his career: his rookie season and two years later in 2014 after suffering a knee injury. Since then, he has been consistently healthy and averaged nearly 700 plate appearances in each of the past four seasons.
Rick Hahn statement pic.twitter.com/hTbFgM5loI
— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) February 19, 2019
Machado took the guaranteed money and the Padres appear to have overpaid for him. The Phillies declared that they weren’t willing to hit $300 million in guaranteed money either and the Yankees were factored out shortly after their meeting in the fall.
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) February 19, 2019
This is the brave new world of baseball finances. Front offices armed with scientific data are aiming to incentivize player contracts to poke a hole in ballooning free-agent deals, something that isn’t necessarily unwarranted but absolutely depressing. The White Sox had a higher value offer on the table and Machado declined. I suppose this is the balance between guaranteed value and believing in yourself.
But I think Machado made a mistake. The options could have been exercised even if he never reached 550 plate appearances, and given the organizations reputation for sticking by their guys (and Machado’s exceptional ability) he would have earned more in Chicago.