Without a Machado decision, the White Sox start Year 3 of their rebuild
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The dream scenario is still out there, but the waiting is getting a little old.
It was December when Manny Machado visited the White Sox as they courted the talented infielder to their building team. Since then, Rick Hahn and the franchise have been waiting, just like everyone else, for the All-Star to make his decision.
The New Year, Sox Fest, and February 1st came and went, with no decision from Machado or fellow free agent Bryce Harper, who also interviewed with the White Sox this offseason.
So as they, and the rest of baseball, wait for the free agent’s decision, the White Sox are moving forward with their 2019 season, the third of their rebuild started in late 2016.
Members of the team arrived for camp in Glendale over the past few days with the official report day for pitchers and catchers Wednesday. It’s the third for Rick Renteria as manager, and he once again moves forward with a roster that remains young but continues to grow.
Jose Abreu is the veteran of the group that includes a number of developing players who’ve got a couple of MLB season under their belts, like Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada. Highly-touted outfielder Eloy Jimenez figures to end up in the major leagues sometime early in the 2019 season, and will be one of the most highly anticipated debuts in the current rebuild era.
Veterans Yonder Alonso and John Jay, each who have connections to Machado, join the team to provide some veteran leadership. The pitching staff won’t have Michael Kopech this season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, but Ivan Nova along with Alex Colome and Kelvin Herrera were added to bolster the pitching staff.
Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez, and Lucas Giolito return in hopes of taking the next step in their careers.
There are others like Adam Engel, Daniel Palka, Nicky Delmonico, Yolmer Sanchez, and Leuri Garcia, who each will continue to define their own roles in the 2019 team.
Machado, who hit .297 with 37 homers and 107 RBI with the Orioles then Dodgers in his All-Star 2018 season, would certainly raise the stakes of this group should he chose to join. But those players around him, who are apart of one of the more ambitious rebuilds in White Sox history, will continue their development one way or the other.
That starts on Wednesday for the pitchers and catchers, whether Machado ends up showing up or not.