If the White Sox are indeed "excluded" from Bryce Harper, they make a big mistake. Why did they waste their time sending a delegation to seduce him to his Las Vegas residency earlier this season? More recently, at January's SoxFest, I never heard Rick Hahn dismiss Harper as a FA target while Manny Machado worried most White Sox fans because of the rumor.
As for the vaunted hopes of the White Sox OF, who among them would offer the team a high potential pole of OPS that can be paired with the ultra power hitting the future Eloy Jimenez in their future batting order? In fact, I do not see any hope of the White Sox with this potential, including Zack Collins, an "advanced" university bat catcher, whom they chose as number 1 in June 2016. Up to now, the career cut in Collins minor leagues .232 / .379 /. 425 looks more like a bad Adam Dunn than anything Harper has achieved in his still young 7 year career at MLB.
From my point of view, the hopes of the White Sox with the best chances of becoming players with future impact are all right-handed. They include LF Jimenez, Luis Robert Armed Forces, RF Micker Adolfo, 2B player Nick Madrigal and 1B / 3B player Jake Burger. OF Blake Rutherford and 1B Gavin Sheets, two other left-handers, failed to produce the power needed to be effective at the center of the batting list and offer Jimenez protection in No. 3 or No. 4 positions. a player. projected order of White Sox hitters.
As I have said many times, Harper makes more sense for the White Sox than Machado from the point of view of their field team and as an investment in marketing. Harper is meeting an important need with his missing high-flying OBP / SLG bat. On the defensive side, Machado would have replaced Tim Anderson or Yoan Moncada on SS or 3B, while Harper would replace Daniel Palka or Nicky Delmonico in RF. It's easy to see which best matches the White Sox.
Harper would be FA's best batting match with Jimenez, not only in this season, but also when the best strikers that may be available will also be right-handed (Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt). The same scenario could apply the following winter, when Mike Trout and Mookie Betts could become FA. Plus, who knows what the competition will be for these FA talents? I guess more "glamorous" teams will be involved than what happened during the off season with Machado and Harper. If the White Sox can not beat the offer of the Padres for Machado, what suggests that they could compete with the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers or Phillies when these other FA will be available?
At the very least, the White Sox should offer Harper the same deal that Machado has just rejected by also guaranteeing him these two years of additional acquisition for the same $ 31.25 million AAV. That could be enough to convince Harper to sign an agreement that guarantees him $ 312.5 million over 10 years, with a $ 350 million potential for performance incentives. This would also serve to calm most of the White Sox fans who are already angry with Machado's breath.
If the White Sox do not come out of the off season without the FA superstar and do not delay Jimenez's MLB debut due to service time issues, they will have a hard time selling those annual passes. at a reduced price at Ball Park during the cold months of April and May. Jerry Reinsdorf and the home office must act and do what they promised White Sox fans all winter or face even more anger for another season.