UPDATE (Friday, 2:42 p.m.): The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the San Diego Padres are “chasing” Manny Machado.
According to multiple sources aware of talks between the sides but weren’t authorized to speak publicly, the Padres are pursuing the 26-year-old superstar with the intention of playing him at third base.
UPDATE (Friday, 2:24 p.m.): SNY’s Andy Martino reports the Atlanta Braves are ‘in contact’ with Manny Machado.
Although the Braves are not positioning themselves as the most aggressive team on Machado – the Phillies and White Sox seem motivated to offer more years than the Braves – they have hung around on periphery of this extended free agency, much more so than the Mets.
Spring training starts in less than a month, which means Manny Machado needs to make a decision.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria explains why the Windy City is looking like Machado’s landing spot, per NBC Sports Chicago:
“This young man has said that he will play wherever we need him to play to help us win. So I’m not worried about where he’s going to play. He knows the makeup of the roster, he knows who we have on the field. I’ll just leave it at that and say that this kid wants to be a participant and will do whatever it takes to help a major league ball club win championships.”
Going into free agency, Machado had stated a preference to play shortstop, even though he is a two-time Gold Glove winner at third base.
Machado visited the White Sox, Yankees and Phillies in December.
Chicago has made several moves in an attempt to woo Machado. The White Sox signed free-agent outfielder Jon Jay and traded for first baseman Yonder Alonso, who is Machado’s brother-in-law. Jay trains during the offseason with Machado and Alonso.
The White Sox reportedly made Machado a seven or eight-year contract offer worth around $175 million. That’s far less than the $300 million he was hoping for, and the $325 million Giancarlo Stanton received from the Marlins before being traded to the Yankees.
Philadelphia has turned its attention to Bryce Harper, leaving Chicago as the leading contender for Machado.