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Report: White Sox seen as sleeper for Machado, could also pursue Harper

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

In the pursuit of this offseason's top two free agents, the usual suspects are expected to be involved. However, the Chicago White Sox have now joined the Manny Machado sweepstakes, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Even further, the White Sox are reportedly also interested in Bryce Harper, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.

Both entering their first foray into free agency at the age of 26, Machado and Harper are poised to sign contracts that exceed $300 million in guaranteed money. The Philadelphia Phillies are also reportedly interested in signing both.

The White Sox entered the 2018 season with a payroll just over $71 million, according to Cot's Contracts. Additionally, Chicago was reportedly interested in acquiring Machado last offseason before the Baltimore Orioles moved the shortstop to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline.

Chicago currently has Tim Anderson stashed at shortstop, who is under team control through the 2024 season. In the event Machado signs, the superstar infielder would likely displace either Anderson or third baseman Matt Davidson.

The White Sox were expected to take a step forward in their rebuild this past season after embarking on an aggressive fire sale prior to the 2017 campaign. However, a disappointing year from both second baseman Yoan Moncada and starting pitcher Lucas Giolito - who were major parts of the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton trades - led to the team losing 100 games.

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