Manny Machado Rumors: White Sox 'Focused Their Attention' on Ex-Dodgers Star

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2019

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08:  Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers plays shortstop during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 8, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.  The Rockies defeated the Dodgers 4-2.  (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Rob Leiter/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox "have focused their attention this past month" on free-agent shortstop Manny Machado, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Sunday.

According to Nightengale, the Philadelphia Phillies are the top contenders to sign free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper after a Phillies contingent met with Harper on Saturday in Las Vegas.

The White Sox are hopeful they'll be the "only true remaining suitor" in the Machado sweepstakes if Harper signs with the Phillies.

Machado met with three teams in December: the White Sox, Phillies and New York Yankees.

If it added Harper, Philadelphia likely wouldn't have the resources to sign Machado too. According to The Athletic's Jim Bowden, the Washington Nationals offered Harper a deal totaling more than $300 million. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post had reported the Nationals offered $300 million over 10 years.

The Yankees, meanwhile, signed Troy Tulowitzki as insurance at shortstop for Didi Gregorius, who underwent Tommy John surgery in October. ESPN.com's Jeff Passan reported New York also agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with DJ LeMahieu, further diminishing its need to continue pursuing Machado.

The White Sox have done the legwork to make Chicago the most attractive destination for Machado.

The team acquired Yonder Alonso, Machado's brother-in-law, from the Cleveland Indians in December. And in reporting on Jon Jay's one-year, $4 million deal with the White Sox, Passan wrote Jay is a "close friend" of the four-time All-Star.

Simply by process of elimination, the signs point to Machado going to the White Sox unless he's willing to open the door for other teams.

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