As rumors swirl whether the Phillies will land free agent Manny Machado, the young slugger’s agent has come out swinging following reports from two national baseball writers.
Dan Lozano, Machado’s agent, called out ESPN’s Buster Olney and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale after they reported the White Sox have offered the 26-year-old $175 million over seven years, much lower than the 10-year, $300 million deal Machado has been reportedly chasing.
Lozano called the reporting “inaccurate and reckless” in a statement issued Wednesday, and suggested sources might be intentionally lying to Olney and Nightengale in an attempt to depress the market for 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,” Lozano said. “But the truth is that their reports on the details of the White Sox level of interest in Manny are completely wrong.”
Here’s Lozano’s full statement:
With rumors swirling and hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, it’s common for agents, players, and executives to turn to reporters to help shape the potential market. But it is rare for an agent to come out so aggressively against two prominent national reporters.
Both Olney and Nightengale said they stand by their reporting.
“I reported that the offer made from the White Sox to Machado was a seven-year contract about 10 days ago and reiterated over the weekend when it was inaccurately reported to have been increased to an 8-year deal. The seven year contract was confirmed by both sides and never disputed,” Nightengale said. “Buster Olney of ESPN independently reported Wednesday it was for $175 million, which I simply repeated and said the White Sox don’t want to bid against themselves.”
“I certainly stand by my reporting,” he added.
“I stand by the story,” Olney said.
It’s no secret that the Phillies remain interested in Machado, even if their eyes have turned more in the direction of Bryce Harper. In our Extra Innings newsletter (which you can subscribe to here), Matt Breen reported that the Phillies remain optimistic they will land at least one of the two superstars, and that it seems unlikely the team will be outbid.
The Phillies also have a bit of a connection with Machado. As my colleague Scott Lauber reported earlier this week, Phillies president Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak played a part in drafting him for the Baltimore Orioles back in 2010. The team also hired Bobby Dickerson, Machado’s mentor and brother-in-law, as an infield coach.