Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox dueling over Machado?

(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox are both alive in the hunt to trade for Manny Machado. Could he land on either the North or South Side?

The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox will play each other six times in 2018, including spring training.

But might they be competing for something else before next season even starts?

WSCR baseball analyst Bruce Levine confirmed, via sources, that both the Cubs and White Sox are both still active in the trade sweepstakes for Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.

How’s that for a crosstown rivalry?

At this point, it’s unclear how serious the discussions are for either the Cubs or White Sox. We also don’t know specifically what their individual packages are.

All that’s known is that whatever talks the Orioles had with those teams during winter meetings have continued on this week. In particular, we know the White Sox have been aggressive regarding Machado.

Either way, it’s very interesting to see the different places the North and South Siders are coming from in bidding for Machado’s services. There’s some sense to be made for him to be in either place.

A tale of two sides of town

The Cubs, as we all know, are undoubtedly in win-now mode. They’ve made three straight National League Championship Series and could feasibly stay in the hunt for a World Series for the next ten years with the core they have.

The White Sox, on the other hand, are playing for the future. Starting last year, they completely overhauled their farm system, trading away stars like Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. With any luck, they’ll have themselves a Cubs-like rebirth within two years.

As such, it would seem like the Cubs would theoretically have more to sell in the immediate future than the Sox.

They’re ready to win right now, and adding Machado would enhance their already formidable lineup. They also have an interesting combination of prospects and young talent already in the majors to trade for Machado.

Worried about where Machado would play in your crowded infield? Trade either Addison Russell or Javier Baez. Then, you could even put Machado at shortstop, which is where he reportedly wants to play.

More from Da Windy City

Heck, maybe you could even package Kyle Schwarber if you’re anxious to move him and open up outfield spots for Albert Almora and Ian Happ.

Not saying these things will absolutely happen. Just listing options. And hey, if you’re apprehensive, just remember that Machado’s a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold-Glover. That’s not too bad, right?

And even if it’s just for one season, this is what the Chicago Cubs have built for all this time: the chance to win now.

For the Chicago White Sox, that expectation doesn’t exist yet. However, it could be a strong move to possibly accelerate their future plans.

Though Machado won’t commit to a long-term deal right now, the White Sox, if they traded for him, would likely only do so if they believed he’d eventually buy in.

And they wouldn’t necessarily have to give up their most prized prospects—namely, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Michael Kopech—to do it. Shipping off some combination of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and a few prospects-to-be-named might be able to do it along with someone like Yolmer Sanchez or possibly even Tim Anderson from the major league roster.

At least, one would hope so. If the Orioles demand one of the first three I named, the Sox should hang up the phones immediately. Might as well wait for Machado to hit free agency next year in that case.

Next: Do Cubs have interest in Yu Darvish?

I really wish we knew how serious this competition was right now. Just the idea of a bidding war between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox for a stud free agent sounds so fun.

Of course, we’ll feel let down if neither one gets Machado, but if one of them does? Bragging rights galore. At least for until the season starts, anyway.