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Everything we think we know about Manny Machado’s free agency and the Chicago White Sox pursuit of him just blew up. Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, released a scathing statement Wednesday calling out two national MLB writers by name for spreading what he calls “inaccurate and reckless” rumors about Machado’s market and the White Sox’s level of interest in him.
The rumors in question are that the White Sox have an offer of $175 million over seven years on the table for Machado, who is believed to be chasing something more in the neighborhood of $300 million. ESPN’s Buster Olney and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale are the two reporters called out by Lozano. He said their sources are “intentionally misleading them to try and affect negotiations through the public or are just flat out lying to them for other reasons.”
Here is Lozano’s statement, via Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown:
Statement from Dan Lozano, Manny Machado's agent… pic.twitter.com/TXuUGOxEus
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) January 16, 2019
Here’s the full text:
I have known Bob Nightengale and Buster Olney for many years and have always had a good professional relationship with both. But their recent reporting, like many other rumors in the past several months, have been inaccurate and reckless when it comes to Manny Machado. I don’t know if their sources are blatantly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement by intentionally misleading them to try and affect negotiations through the public or are just flat out lying to them for other reasons. But the truth is that their reports on the details of the White Sox level of interest in Manny are completely wrong.
I am well aware that the entire baseball universe; fans, players, teams, and media members alike; are starved for information about this free agent market for all players, including Manny. But I am not going to continue to watch the press be manipulated into tampering with, not just with my client, but all of these players’ livelihoods as they have been doing this entire offseason. The absence of new information to report is no excuse to fabricate “news” or regurgitate falsehoods without even attempting to confirm their validity and it is a disservice to baseball fans everywhere when the media does just that.
Moving forward, I will continue to respect the CBA’s prohibition on negotiations through the media, and hope that others would do the same.
This time of year, there’s a whole lot of games that are played in the media. Teams and agents both use reporters to shape the market, sharing tidbits that get relayed as “sources” in the daily onslaught of trade rumors that quench of hot stove season thirst.
Rarely — if ever — do we see an agent come out swinging like this. The $175 million figure getting floated for Machado is certainly lower than anybody expected at this point, but it’s also part of an offseason that has so far been underwhelming in both the length of contracts being handed out and the pace at which players are signing. That gave Lozano twice as much reason to speak out.
This development is now huge for a couple reasons: We could see more agents firing back at what gets passed along as “news” on Twitter during free agency and we’re probably not any closer to Machado signing anywhere.
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