Manny Machado
Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after flying out during the tenth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Two teams stand out among the rest when it comes to the Manny Machado Sweepstakes. The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are considered to be the top contenders to sign the free agent that might command more money than any player this offseason.

That doesn’t mean there are only two realistic destinations for the former Los Angeles Dodgers’ infielder. Depending on what kind of offers Machado gets from Philadelphia and New York, there’s a chance that a dark-horse candidate could swoop in and sign the All-Star.

The Chicago White Sox might have to be put at the top of the list of long-shot candidates that could end up with Machado. The team has plenty of money to spend, and they might try to make a splash in free agency after another losing season.

Chicago engaged in trade discussions with the Baltimore Orioles during the 2017 Winter Meetings, and there was heavy speculation that Machado would start the 2018 season on the White Sox’s roster. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Chicago could renew their pursuit of Machado this offseason.

Baltimore traded Machado to L.A. for five prospects in July.

Most of Chicago’s roster is either arbitration-eligible or in their pre-arbitration seasons. Prior to arbitration, Welington Castillo is the team’s highest-paid player with a $7.25 million salary in 2019. The White Sox went 62-100 in 2018, winning fewer than 80 games for the sixth consecutive year.

The White Sox are a possibility for Machado, though they remain a long shot. The same could be said for the Atlanta Braves, who are looking to upgrade their roster after making a playoff appearance for the first time in five years. General manager Alex Anthopoulos recently said on MLB Network Radio that the team would be reluctant to give out a very lengthy contract. Machado could be looking to sign a 10-year deal.

The Yankees will consider a long-term commitment to Machado. They seem to have made it pretty clear that they prefer to sign him over Bryce Harper. New York has little room in their outfield next year after re-signing Brett Gardner. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks are all set to return in 2019.

There is wide speculation that Philadelphia will sign either Machado or Harper. The Phillies went 80-82 in 2018, marking a 14-win improvement from 2017.

Machado indicated on Instagram last week that he won’t re-sign with Los Angeles. It’d be surprising to see the Dodgers or Boston Red Sox acquire one of this offseason’s two prized position players.

The Chicago Cubs have been considered a possible destination for Harper, but ESPN's Buster Olney has reported that the team might not have much money to spend this offseason.