The Manny Machado sweepstakes have baseball fans of a certain team on edge, with them clinging to every little sign that their team will sign the in-demand free agent this offseason and the player has played his part with his cryptic social media posts. The fans in question here are from the Chicago White Sox, who have been heavily linked with a move for the shortstop.

The White Sox, the New York Yankees, and the Philadelphia Phillies are said to be the three teams in the hunt for Machado this offseason, with the player having met all three franchises in December. He was expected to make a decision early in 2019, but a month and 12 days into the year and there is still no indication as to his next destination.

The Yankees were installed as the early favorites but their unwillingness to meet the shortstop's demands, which was a long-term deal north of $300 million, put them lower in the pecking order. The Phillies were major contenders with the financial clout to meet his needs but have since shifted their focus to the other in-demand free agent, Bryce Harper.

The White Sox are said to be leading the race for Machado and were the first team to have made a concrete offer to the shortstop. They are said to have offered close to $200 million over eight years which is still to be accepted or acknowledged.

But recent reports are claiming the Yankees have returned and made a bid of $220 million over eight years. The New York franchise will not even have to outbid their competitors but just get close as they are said to be Machado’s preference among the three interested teams.

Manny Machado
The Chicago White Sox are the favorites to land Manny Machado at the moment. In this picture, Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Oct. 13, 2018. Rob Carr/Getty Images

While the shortstop continues to remain coy, his social media posts are sending fans into a frenzy. The latest was an Instagram story when he reposted a picture of White Sox baby shoes, as shown on NBC Sports. It could have been a hint, but most likely something related to his brother-in-law Yonder Alonso, who wears the no. 17 for the White Sox.

Meanwhile, USA Today’s Ted Berg believes the Phillies should turn back their focus on Machado as he will make them favorites in the National League East. They have already added Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, and most recently, in-demand catcher JT Realmuto.

The shortstop, who can also play at third base, will certainly strengthen their team further and make them one of the main contenders from the East. And Berg is certain they have over $30 million a season they can commit to Machado.

However, the only obstacle in their way is the franchise’s desire to sign Harper, who is the most coveted free agent in baseball this offseason. They seem to have shifted focus on the outfielder but are in contention with the San Francisco Giants, who have made a late move for the six-time All-Star.