On Friday, the San Diego Padres introduced Manny Machado as the franchise's new cornerstone. For as joyous as the occasion was in San Diego, where hope is on the rise, it was disappointing for fans of the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox seemed like the favorites for Machado throughout much of the winter, yet were unwilling to meet his asking price.
What the White Sox were willing to do in order to coerce Machado into signing with them was trade for his brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, and sign his good friend Jon Jay. Those moves were likely designed to entice Machado, but they may have backfired. Both Alonso and Jay have played for the Padres in recent years, and each spoke well of San Diego to Machado.
Here's more via James Fegan of The Athletic:
"They talked greatly about San Diego, they never stopped talking about it," Machado said. "Yonder loves it. Jon did as well. They're just happy for me and for our family and for our situation. At the end of the day, I'm going to see them quite a bit here in Arizona and we're always going to be a phone call away and talk every day."
Obviously the White Sox haven't (and likely never will) acknowledged they acquired Alonso and Jay as part of a Machado recruiting pitch. It's a heck of a coincidence, however, if that wasn't the intent on some level or another. It just goes to show that the best practice for recruiting free agents is a willingness to pay them their worth.