Cubs, White Sox spring-training report: When will Manny Machado sign?
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White Sox pitchers and catchers reported to spring training in Glendale, Arizona, on Wednesday, but still the talk of the day revolved around unsigned Manny Machado.
Will the Sox get him? Or will he sign with the Yankees who now seem to be the favorite out of nowhere?
Poor Jon Jay and Yonder Alonso — who both with ties to Machado and were acquired this winter by the Sox — have seemingly answered more questions about the star free agent than their offseason improvements.
While no one really knows what’s going behind closed door except for the parties involved, Sox fans are pointing to Machado’s every little move wondering if it’s a “sign” that he could sign with their beloved team.
For example, two posts on social media this week sent Sox fans into a frenzy.
Rawlings Sports revealed that the color scheme for Machado’s gloves this season is black and white.
“I like the color scheme of black and white — is he signing with the Raiders?” Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters.
The other incident happened on Instagram when Machado shared a photo of Sox-themed baby booties that had the numbers “1” and “7” under each foot. (Machado’s brother-in-law Alonso is No. 17.)
In our Rick Morrissey’s Thursday column, he pleaded with Machado to make a decision already.
“This is not the good kind of suspense. This is suspense brought on by a cracked system, by too few owners willing to shell out big money to stars. Machado already should be in camp somewhere, with cash sticking out of his pockets. So should Bryce Harper. But free agency is constipated.
“So everybody waits. Waiting is not a good thing in this day and age. It leads to idle fingers [which leads to Twitter rumors].”
Morrissey is right. Machado has been a free agent longer than his time with the Dodgers last season. It’s time to put ink to paper and move on.
Michael Kopech’s scar
Sox top pitching prospect Michael Kopech showed off his scar from Tommy John surgery on Wednesday during a flat-ground throwing session at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.
Although he expected to be a top-of-the rotation starter in 2019, Kopech is expected to miss the 2019 season while he rehabs his pitching elbow. He overcame one of the first hurdles of his long road of recovery last week when he pitched for the first time since he had surgery in September.
Kopech believes he will be better and stronger than before when he returns in 2020.
“I’m a little too stubborn [to give up],” he said at SoxFest. “So even if my arm wasn’t up for it, my mind was, so I was going to come back one way or another.”
Honest talk with Yu
Did the six-year, $126 million mega-contract get to Yu Darvish’s head? The right-handed pitcher hinted it did and that — along with an elbow injury — was part of the reason he unraveled last season.
“Last year, I didn’t say anything about that, but definitely I was thinking [that] I had to do something for the Cubs. I should win 20 games or something,” Darvish told reporters.
But this year, Darvish said will be different and his teammates have already noticed a change in Darvish’s confidence. More on that here.
Sights to see
In other news…
The Cubs agreed with veteran left-hander Xavier Cedeno to a one-year, $900,000 contract, which also includes $300,000 in performance incentives, according our Gordon Wittenmyer, who broke down what this addition means for the Cubs’ bullpen.
After the Sox held left fielder Eloy Jimenez down in the minors all last season, it wouldn’t make sense for them to break camp with him when all that’s needed for an additional year of team control is two or three more weeks at Class AAA Charlotte at the onset of the season, our Daryl Van Schouwen writes. Here’s Hahn’s thoughts on the matter.