Bryce Harper

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McKnight: Sox Should Forget Narrative, Chase Stars

The White Sox should heavily pursue Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

Connor McKnight
November 07, 2018 - 8:36 am
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(670 The Score) While the White Sox forge ahead in their rebuild, it seems they’ll be active in free agency this winter.

The White Sox are interested in the two headlining free agents, per reports: outfielder Bryce Harper and infielder Manny Machado.

That news will come with derision from some. You’ll hear stories of the White Sox being cheap, and the fact that the biggest contract they've handed out in team history was six years and $68 million to Jose Abreu will be referenced. Doubt will permeate about whether a star free agent would want to play for a team that's second fiddle in its city. 

Some will also suggest the White Sox have specific role to play in free agency -- that of being nothing more than a tool to drive up the price of free agents in a bidding war.

Thing is, who cares?

The White Sox should press in this offseason. They shouldn’t mind any being thrown into any of those narratives. They shouldn’t care about what the rest of the baseball world thinks, not while they have a chance to make their pitch to players who can help bring them out of the wilderness.

Let the reports emerge that you’re willing to pay the big bucks. The White Sox have less than $55 million in payroll commitment for 2019 and plenty of flexibility well into the next decade. They also have a young core in their system to sell, from Eloy Jimenez to Luis Robert to Yoan Moncada to Michael Kopech to Dylan Cease.

The White Sox are in a position to accommodate Harper or Machado. Jimenez can't block Harper from where he needs to play -- there are two corner outfield spots and a designated hitter slot to use. If Machado demands to play short, let Tim Anderson shift to center field. 

If White Sox fans are ridiculed for wanting too much in free agency, the hell with it. If they want a winner, there’s a next step to take that won’t cost anything except Jerry Reinsdorf's cash and a little anxiety while it plays out.

The bottom line is that for the White Sox, there's no downside to pursuing these Harper and Machado.

Connor McKnight is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in middays. You can follow him on Twitter @C1McKnight.