Interesting place where these White Sox are today.
It is well into January and two of the best free agents in MLB history are still flirting with them, mainly because the market has declined for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
However, both are still on the dance floor and talking to the South Siders.
If you feel too early for such a movement, only two years after a reconstruction, there is a logic behind what you are doing.
Some would point out that the Cubs signed Jon Lester for only three years as proof that it makes sense, but the Cubs were willing to pay for years in which they did not think they would compete to secure that player.
There's also all that veteran guy with rings, and how that can move a program forward.
The Cubs had no idea that they would compete in 2015. In the fourth year of reconstruction, they arrived at least a year earlier. By the fifth year, they were winning a World Series and it would never have happened without Lester.
So much for the calendars.
The Red Sox may believe they are on a slightly faster track because of the number of prospects they could acquire in deals to begin rebuilding, not to mention that they play in a division with only a good team that is behaving strangely. winter.
But there's more than that.
In Bryce Harper, who turned 26 in October, and Manny Machado, who turned 26 in July, you're talking about two of the best and youngest free agents in game history.
These are generational talents on the Hall of Fame tracks. If you are looking for comparisons of free agents, the list is very short.
Think in terms of Greg Maddux, a 26 year old starter who comes from a Cy Young, 20 wins and 268 innings.
Apologies as always, Cub fans, for the reminder.
There's Alex Rodriguez, a 25-year-old shortstop and Golden Glove caliber that comes from three consecutive seasons of 40 homers and 100 RBIs.
And that's it.
Carlos Beltrán was a 27-year-old center fielder with a gold glove that had won 38 homers, 104 RBIs and 42 steals, and Barry Bonds was 28 when he left Pittsburgh.
In today's game, that is considered to be approaching the end of a player's main activity.
In any case, Machado and Harper belong to the most elite free agent category in history and it is easy to believe that the next five years of their careers will be as good as the last five, so they are worth the five years after the desperate teams. to get them.
Are the White Sox one of those teams? Do you have to make this happen now? Are they really desperate?
It is certainly not an appropriate word to use in this case.
The Red Sox, like the Cubs, probably think they're at least a year away from competing, but they also know that players like this, especially at such an early age, are rare to find in free agency, and it happens that teams are developing less appetite for 10-year contracts and luxury tax expenditures.
Considering that their payroll commitments are progressing, which obviously are few and small, the Red Sox are in a position to receive an injection.
That is why it is logical now, assuming that the duration of the term and the annual value do not ruin a good thing.
If neither of the two manage to land, they also know who will be available next winter.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who is 28 years old when the 2020 season begins, is one of the best baseball players and, in some ways, still underestimated. It's a monster, period, and online for a big deal next low season.
Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon (29 in 2020), second baseman Scooter Gennett (29), starter Astros, Gerrit Cole (29), outfielder Marcell Ozuna ( 29), Giants starter Madison Bumgarner (30), first baseman of Cards. Paul Goldschmidt (32) and Oakland DH Khris Davis (32).
Justin Verlander will be 37 years old, but he shows no signs of slowing down and it might be good to have him in the postseason.
And, oh yeah, that guy from Chris Sale will be a free agent next winter, 31 when the 2020 season starts.
"Given where we are, many people took the opportunity to enter this process, we will see what happens in the coming days and weeks," general manager Rick Hahn said on Thursday. "But we understand that this is not the last opportunity to add premium talent."
As of Saturday, I had the feeling that Harper was waiting for Washington to sweeten the package and for Machado to try to get a little more from Philadelphia.
But the White Sox are still in the mix.
They could be lucky and get a big fish, speeding up the process again. It is not a bad place to be considering that nobody thought that this was possible a few months ago.
Well, maybe nobody but the White Sox.