In a world where reports about shockingly low seven-year, $175 million offers are being thrown around with respect to Manny Machado, it should be no surprise that agents are rattling some swords. We saw it last year, we saw it earlier this year, and we’re seeing it again now – in a very direct way – in response to those Machado reports.
Manny Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, is a heavy-hitter, and he’s none too pleased to see reports he regards as egregiously wrong making the rounds about his client:
Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group, the agent for Manny Machado, released the following statement regarding recent reports: pic.twitter.com/MmKy9doaFz
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 16, 2019
In other words, Lozano is saying the White Sox have offered more than has been reported here:
The White Sox offer to Machado is for $175 million, over seven years. In some ways, their approach is like Boston's w/ J.D. Martinez last winter — the Red Sox offered $100 million and waited for two months. If CWS offer emerges as best, a big ? is: Would Machado/NYY re-engage?
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 16, 2019
The #Whitesox made their 7-year, $175 million offer about two weeks ago and haven’t felt the need to alter it, and bid against themselves . Just like Martinez last year with #Redsox as @Buster_ESPN points out, whose only other known offer was a one year proposal from #Dbacks https://t.co/NJSiooQXep
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 16, 2019
Moreover, Lozano is saying either that these two guys are making this up (not likely), or that some other source is providing them with explicitly false information. I’d be more inclined to straight up believe Lozano if it weren’t for this testy exchange that followed:
hear that the rumor of a chisox 175M offer for 7 years for manny machado is not correct. am told it is "way off," though not sure exactly how off. I'd say offer has to be higher and almost surely begins with a 2.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2019
No idea what you’re talking about. The agent issued a statement that was pretty clear.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2019
So, the implication there is that Heyman probably heard from Lozano that the Olney/Nightengale reports were bogus, but Levine is indicating that they are only bogus if you aren’t accounting for present-day value – i.e., sure, maybe Machado has seven-year, $200+ million offer that is actually only “worth” something closer to $175 million. The reason I suspect Levine knows something? His original reports on this front put a *range* on the dollars offered to Machado, which you might do if the offer was complicated and harder to peg a clear present-day value. And, Levine is a local guy, who has heard the same thing as two national guys, all of which run contrary to the interests of the agent now denying it.
That is not to say that Lozano doesn’t have a point, though. If – for example – the White Sox have only started a dialogue at a certain price point (rather than making a full, firm, final offer), Lozano is right to want that stuff to stay out of the media so that it can’t be used against him by other teams. Heck, look at what we wrote earlier when discussing the White Sox report! We are basically saying the Cubs and 10 other teams should totally go after Machado if this is all he costs. Suddenly, teams could have the impression that Machado is totally maxed out around $200 million, and a team like the White Sox or Phillies have zero reason to really push the envelope.
When there is $100+ million in difference at stake, people are going to be mad. Teams are going to lie. Agents are going to argue. This is just the way it is, especially in a market as slow and depressed as this one.
I wonder what Scott Boras is thinking about the dollar value assigned to Bryce Harper as he watches this play out? I bet he’s pretty darn happy that he got that psychological anchor of a $300 million offer out there back in September.
Also, did you see the undercurrent of collusive allegations in Lozano’s statement? About all players’ livelihoods being impacted by a manipulated media environment? Does he mean to suggest that teams are, in the aggregate, working to keep player salaries down by using the media to that specific end? It’s an inflammatory suggestion, and it may or may not be accurate, but I’d note that I’ve seen media angles that skew heavily player-friendly, and ones that skew heavily owner-friendly, so it’s hard to say for sure.
This environment is just not good for the game, and it’s the second straight winter we’re seeing this kind of grumbling. It will get worse as the end of the current CBA – 2021 – approaches.