CHICAGO - The pursuit of free agent infielder Manny Machado by the Chicago White Sox appears to be heating up.
The White Sox have plenty of payroll flexibility as they chase after Machado and his fellow free agent Bryce Harper. USA Today reported that Chicago offered Machado a contract upward of $200 million.
The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are the main competitors for the duo. The White Sox have just $35.5 million currently committed to their payroll, according to spotrac.com. Spotrac lists the Phillies at $82.7 million before additions and the Yankees at $120.8 million.
Meanwhile, Troy Tulowitzki and the New York Yankees have finalized a one-year contract for the major league minimum $555,000, giving the team a low-cost option at shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Tulowitzki idolized retired Yankees captain Derek Jeter and has worn No. 2 in his honor. A five-time All-Star who turned 34 in October, Tulowitzki has not played in the major leagues since July 2017 and was released by the Toronto Blue Jays last month.
In other MLB news, the Tampa Bay Rays are eliminating approximately 10,000 upper deck seats at Tropicana Field next season, giving it by far the lowest seating capacity of any MLB stadium.
The team announced it will close off the upper deck seating to provide a more “intimate” experience for fans.
The club said it would add some premium seating to its lower level, but that still will leave Tropicana Field with about 10,000 fewer seats than any other venue.