Here we go again with the teasing reports on Manny Machado‘s free-agent leanings. According to Héctor Gómez the Death Star in New York is out of the running for Machado.

Who is this guy and why do you care? Well, it seems he’s affiliated with MLB Network in some way, and his report was quasi-confirmed by Jon Heyman and others soon after.

This offseason has proven that media reports are hardly worth their keystrokes, but as the baseball community tries to read the tea leaves and smoke signals wafting from New York, Philadelphia and Chicago (and now D.C.) it seems we can only rely on our deductive reasoning and intuition.

Is this report good news for the White Sox? Yes. Does the lack of an official offer exclude the Yankees from signing Machado? It appears so. What the hell is an official offer anyway? Isn’t an “offer” an “official offer”? At what point do they become one and the same?

For what it’s worth, Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports Chicago added his weight to the report and it seems the Yankees might be slow rolling their Machado bid.

Look, don’t shoot the messenger. We’re just as frustrated as you are with the lack of clarity and accuracy in the deluge of reports. Lord knows we’d all like Machado and Bryce Harper to make a decision already. But as I said on the Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast last week, this is the single biggest financial decision these kids will make in their lives. They deserve the courtesy of collecting all offers (official or whatever a regular offer is) and making the best decision for their careers and families.

And I’d also like to propose one interpretation for this offseason that you can take with you. Isn’t this (in a way) good for baseball? Isn’t the level of fan engagement during this offseason something exciting for the game?

Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a sixth inning single off the wall against the Boston Red Sox in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
(Oct. 25, 2018 – Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)

The calls to augment pace of play and constantly rinse away the nuances of the game because the game is losing audience seem to be a red herring. Are there fewer fans attending games? Perhaps. But Major League Baseball just snatched the largest profit in the history of the game last season: $10.3 billion.

I read this as fans are still engaging with the game. Media deals generate the lions share of revenue for teams and media companies would not be willing to shell out the record deals they are if they didn’t think they could sell the advertising space. Make no mistake, the eyeballs are still watching the game and at a record pitch.

Yes, this offseason has a historic free-agent class, but people are tuning in and becoming more passionate about their teams. Isn’t that good for baseball?