Interesting place where these White Sox are today.
It is far in January and two of the best free agents in the MLB history are still flirting with them, especially as the market has shrunk for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
Nevertheless, they are both still on the dance floor and they talk to the South Siders.
If it feels too fast for such a step, only two years after the reconstruction, there is logic behind what they do.
Some would point to the signing by the Cubs of Jon Lester of just three years as proof that it is logical, but the Cubs were willing to pay years in which they did not think they would compete to secure that player.
There is also that very experienced guy with rings, and how that can promote a program.
The Cubs had no idea that they would compete in 2015. In the fourth year of a rebuild they were at least a year too early. By the fifth year they won a World Series and it would never have happened without Lester.
So far calendars.
The Sox might believe that they have a slightly faster track because of the number of prospects they could acquire in deals to start the rebuild, not to mention playing in a division with only one good team that is behaving in a strange way behaves winter.
But there is more to it than that.
In Bryce Harper, who turned 26 in October, and Manny Machado, who turned 26 in July, you are talking about two of the best and youngest free agents in the history of the game.
These are generational skills on Hall of Fame circuits. If you are looking for free comparisons, the list is very short.
Think in terms of Greg Maddux, a 26-year-old starter from a Cy Young, 20 wins and 268 innings.
Apologies as always, Cub fans, for the memory.
There is Alex Rodriguez, a 25-year-old, Gold-Glove caliber shortstop coming from three consecutive seasons of 40 homers and 100 RBI.
And that's the way it is.
Carlos Beltran was a 27-year-old Gold-Glove quality center player from 38 homers, 104 RBI and 42 steals, and Barry Bonds was 28 when he left Pittsburgh.
In today's game that is considered as the end approaching a player's height.
In any case, Machado and Harper are among the most elite category of free agents ever and it's easy to believe that the next five years of their career will be just as good as the last five, making them worth five years the teams that are desperate to grab them.
Are the White Sox one of those teams? Should they let this happen now? Are they really desperate?
Certainly not a suitable word to use in this case.
The Sox, like the Cubs, probably have the idea that they are at least a year away from competitions, but also know that players like this – especially at such a young age – are rare to find in a free agency , and it has just happened that teams have less sense in 10-year contracts and luxury tax expenditures.
Given their payroll obligations, which are clearly small and small, the Sox can make a shot.
That is why it is logical now, assuming that the duration and the annual value do not spoil good things.
If they do not manage to land, they also know who is available next winter.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado – 28 years old when the 2020 season starts – is one of the best players in baseball and still underestimated. He is a monster, a period and in a row for a huge deal next to the season.
Also non-signer are Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon (29 in 2020), Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett (29), Astros-starter Gerrit Cole (29), Cards outfielder Marcell Ozuna (29), Giants starter Madison Bumgarner (30), Cards first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (32) and Oakland DH Khris Davis (32).
Justin Verlander turns 37, but shows no signs of delay and may be nice to have around for the postseason & # 39;
And, oh yeah, that Chris Sale guy will be a free agent next winter, 31 when the 2020 season starts.
"Given where we are, many people have let us enter this process as long shots, we will see what happens in the coming days and weeks," said GM Rick Hahn on Thursday. "But we understand that this is not the last opportunity to add premium talent."
From Saturday it felt like Harper was waiting for Washington to sweeten the package and Machado tried to get something more out of Philadelphia.
But the White Sox are still in the mix.
They can be lucky and land a big fish, which speeds up the process. Not a bad place to remember that no one thought this was possible a few months ago.
Well, maybe no one except the White Sox itself.