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Who Leaked Manny Machado's Bogus Offer? An Investigation

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So yesterday, as the whole world saw, the White Sox were reported by Buster Olney and Bob Nightengale to have a 7 year, $175MM deal on the table for Manny Machado.  It sent White Sox, Phillies and Yankees twitter into a tailspin.  Passan, Heyman and Rosenthal immediately refuted it and Dan Lozano did as well:

while other reporters double down on the report:

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I was walking to get a sandwich when Levine sent this reply to me.  I was honestly in shock that Levine would err on the side of BOB NIGHTENGALE of all people, notable access journalist, and try to refute the Rosenthal aka the GOAT and Dan Lozano’s word just minutes after they said the whole report was bullshit.

He then went on 670 moments later and went on to say that this current deal would have notational value, is the current market value for Machado, and that there would be deferments that could up the value of the contract to over $200MM.

When 670’s host Danny Parkins asked him to explain what these things meant… he couldn’t.  He stumbled upon his words and asked for an Econ Major to call in to assist him.

Before I go on, let me say this – Bruce Levine has been in the game for a long, long time.  Almost 4 decades.  He knows some of the most important baseball people in not only Chicago, but I’d guess the country as well.  He is extremely well-sourced.  I will go to bat for him on this completely and totally.

What I won’t do, however, is defend his next few comments in his 670 segment yesterday afternoon.  I don’t have a link to the audio, but Parkins more or less asked him if he thought that organizations or agents used him (and in this instance, Nightengale and Olney) as a way to negotiate through the media, or if organizations or media lied to him so he could make false yet truthful reports.

He said no, he didn’t.

This tells me two things:

1. Levine could be lying himself or
2. He is too oblivious to understand that he was lied to, which is an issue in and of itself

I say this because I absolutely believe someone fed this 7/$175MM deal to him.  He reported what he heard.  So, he wasn’t technically “lying” but he was lying for someone else.  Whether or not he knows that he was being lied to is a red flag nevertheless.  It hurts his credibility as a reporter, because it’s clear the info he reported and doubled down on was complete and total bullshit.

There was obviously someone who leaked that ludicrous number to those three people.  It’s like a game of fucking Clue. I am going to list out the possibilities here:

Dan Lozano:

Lozano is a notorious scumbag of epic proportions.  He’s more or less the Backroom Casting Couch dude and this could have been him using the media to tell the White Sox to ‘bend over at the waist and spread your cheeks’.  Back when Deadspin was a good website, they had an awesome breakdown of who he was as a person, which you can read here.  Seriously, read it.  It’s great journalism.

Why would he leak the offer?  Didn’t he refute it?

After thinking it over, maybe he gave these reporters this bullshit, imaginary deal so when Machado does sign for say, 8/$260 or better, he can look at his client and say, “see!  I got you almost $100MM more than you had on the table just a few weeks ago, I’m the best agent ever!”

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This all happens at the White Sox expense and makes them look like a cheapskate, loser franchise, if you want to twist his “I don’t know if their sources are blatantly violating CBA rules” quote in that manner.

There is also the [more feasible?] chance that Lozano leaked the 7/$175 to get other teams to reengage on talks with him on Machado.  He knows that the Phillies and Sox are the only two teams truly in the Machado market, which kills his leverage in negotiations.  So he lets this bullshit offer slip out in the media to get say, the Cubs or Brewers to reengage in talks and when they call he goes, “okay well can you hit 8/$300?  Because that’s our price.”

Click.  But what’s important is a dialogue was at least started between Lozano and other organizations.  In comes the ‘mystery team’.  If this theory is true, my guess is the Sox sniffed this out immediately and told him to fuck himself, causing him to issue the public statement yesterday saying it’s false, or they’d pull out of negotiations.  Who’s getting fucked now Dan?

Do I think Lozano leaked that number to them?  Is Dan Lozano Keyser Soze?  Ehh… probably not.  Would I be surprised if he did?  Nope.  He’s that sleazy.  Him and Scott Boras hate each other’s guts, and this free agency saga is the most important period of his professional career.

Scott Boras:

The agent from hell.  Maybe he was just fucking around with people and thought it’d be funny to make his former protege look like a complete and total asshole in the public eye.

The Phillies:

The other team in the Machado/Harper sweepstakes.  I don’t think an offer is even on the table for Machado or Harper as of yet by Philly.  But why would they leak this to the aforementioned reporters?  My theory is that they can float this rumor, take it back to Boras and Harper and say, “Yo Machado is way cheaper than you guys right now, look at how cheap this contract would be.  Unless you guys come WAY down, we’re gonna get Machado at like 8/$240.  See y’all later.”

Boras ain’t dumb though.  He’s gonna get Harper paid regardless of what happens with Machado.

The White Sox:

Maybe Machado reallllllly doesn’t want to play for a 2nd rate team coming off a 100 loss season and hates that Rickey Renteria expects his players to hustle their balls off every single play?  Machado did just come off a World Series run in Los Angeles.  He wants to win, “I don’t hustle” comments be damned.  He wants anyone, literally anyone else to pay him his self-perceived value and is telling the Sox to fuck off.

Not on Jerry’s watch.  He will NOT be used as leverage in any negotiation.  “Okay Philly, you want Machado?  Here ya go, and oh yeah, FYI – we offered him $175MM over 7 years, so you probably don’t have to pay much more than that to land his services.”

Now this would obviously be collusion in it’s purest form, so he could have maybe been using the media as a way to suppress his market.  This is the ONLY possible (albeit long shot) scenario I can see where the White Sox would leak this info.  Not that colluding to suppress a players’ salary isn’t a bad look, but any other reason makes them look like complete and total shit.

Bias aside – I’d be completely and total stunned if the leak came from the White Sox.  It makes zero sense from them at all.  I’m putting them at a 0.0001% possibility, unless of course, they were colluding.  Which is a lightening rod of a theory and not what’s happening.  They gain NOTHING from leaking an offer that absurd out, and if the offer were true, he’d already be on the Yankees.

***UPDATE***

Just received a note that Lozano and Reinsdorf have developed a great relationship and have the utmost respect for each other throughout this process, so this theory can officially be debunked.

The Yankees

Lay in the weeds like a cheetah and POUNCE on Machado if they can move Andujar.  I was told they’re out though.  Hal doesn’t want to spend what Machado is seemingly offered already.  But maybe he sees this lowball offer and wants back in the game?  Tells Cashman, “get your boy”.

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This didn’t happen though.  I can’t see any other reason to why the Yankees would do this.  They’re out, and the Sox are the reasons why.  Passan’s leaked offer of 8/$250MM was the nail in the Yankees’ coffin.

Random DM Slides:

I get people DMing me all day long with info on this case.  I ignore almost every one of them, and if something comes up that seems plausible I’ll crosscheck it with people who I trust which almost always ends up in the rumor getting dispelled.

But Levine, Olney and Nightengale are old people.  They don’t get millennial media.  Maybe someone created a fake Rick Hahn account, slid in their DMs and told them to “keep this on the DL but here’s the offer.”  Honestly, it’s not a completely impossible scenario.  Old people don’t get twitter.  Because they’re old people.

Real talk… this is the most plausible scenario IMO.  Not a DM slide obviously, but they ran and are currently running with bad information that they got from an obviously untrustworthy source.  That these guys were fed SHIT info, most likely from the same person.  No idea who or why they did it, but they came out guns blazing Leroy Jenkins style.  Why?  No idea.  But they succeeded in making a lot of national media figures look like total jackasses.

So we’re back to square one.  A big, giant Mexican standoff between all camps involved.

A week ago, I would have said this whole saga would have been wrapped up by now.  Now?  Wouldn’t be shocked if it drags out until March.  I just need someone to blink first for my own sanity.