If you ask me, there is no excuse for the White Sox reported offer to Manny Machado of seven years and $175 million. He is a dynamic player at a premium position that could change the course of any team’s winning trajectory, and if the 7/$175MM is true I would find it insulting.

But this type of offer could be hung up on semantics and details. Frankly, I don’t think the White Sox would offer a deal with such minor pitch without mechanisms that could trigger a lot more money to be released to Machado. Whether through incentives or good-faith options, Machado is worth at least $75MM more over the same duration as what has been reported.

Yesterday afternoon, Andy Martino of SNY.tv cited league sources (I know, I know) that said the Sox’s offer to Machado may have a “swellopt” — a tool similar to what the Yankees worked into Zack Britton’s contract where if the team opts in on a player early in the contract, it triggers more guaranteed years/money at the end of the contract.

“The sides have at least discussed a contract structure that would allow Chicago to exercise an option after year three that would trigger team control for an eighth or ninth year, according to major league sources. This probably accounts for some of the confusion over whether Machado has a seven or eight year offer on the table. He has likely been offered a contract that could be either.”

By these terms Machado and the White Sox would have a big decision to make after the 2021 season. The most important factor with this mechanism is that both sides have an option after the third year of the deal. If the Sox decided to pick up his option the deal would swell on the backend. If the Sox decide not to exercise the option but Machado does, the deal sticks to the original seven-year term. Or both parties could opt out and separate.

This sounds like a safety clause for all parties. I wouldn’t mind the Sox engineering a deal with this type of structure, but the money on the back end would have to be high (VERY HIGH) to coax Machado into this type of contract.

This isn’t all that dissimilar from what I speculated may be at work in negotiations on last night’s Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast. I pondered the idea of incentives that could boost the total value of the deal and perhaps trigger automatic options. Players have been more willing to accept these terms in return for big money — pitchers accept these deals more often with incentives tied to innings pitched, etc.

A swellopt or incentives could explain the low offer by the Sox. Either way, inaccurate information and varying reports will continue to gnarl your weekly commutes for the next month.