The White Sox are in on Manny Machado. The White Sox are in on Bryce Harper. Are they in on both of them?
The "spend stupid" Philadelphia Phillies have generated that kind of speculation, that both of the biggest names on this winter's free-agent market could sign in the same place and form a baseball version of the Miami Heat.
But what about the White Sox? They have the financial flexibility to make a big contract offer, the kind of offer that could lure either Machado or Harper. Asked about how much the White Sox would be willing to spend on one of these guys, general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday that they "expect to, at the very least, go down swinging if we don’t convert."
It's true there are hardly any long-term financial commitments to speak of on the South Side, but signing both Machado and Harper to contracts worth multiple hundreds of millions of dollars is a totally different story when it comes to spending.
Hahn was asked about how realistic it is that both of the 26-year-old superstars could end up on the South Side.
"From a payroll-management and flexibility standpoint going forward, these are obviously not the last two free agents that we intend to add in the future," Hahn said during a question-and-answer panel with fans. "So having two commitments of the magnitude that they’re going to require on the same roster, it probably limits your flexibility. It might not be the strongest move for us long term."
There's no surprise to that, though it does offer up an interesting hypothetical: Would the White Sox say no to one of the big free agents if they both agreed to join up?