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White Sox manager Rick Renteria praises Manny Machado

The Chicago White Sox are considered to be among the front-runners in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, so the fact that skipper Rick Renteria recently praised the free-agent slugger should not come as much of a surprise.

Much has been made of Machado’s Machado’s cavalier comments during the postseason, which raised the eyebrows of at least one team reportedly interested in signing the infielder.

“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first…” Machado told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal about not running out a groundout during Game 2 of the NLCS.

Renteria, whose mantra is said to be, “Ricky’s boys don’t quit,” per the Chicago Tribune, said he does not see any issue with Machado’s effort level.

“I think he’s a major league baseball player with a lot of talent and a lot of desire to want to have success and to help a club,” Renteria said Wednesday during a team visit with preschoolers. “Everybody makes mistakes. For goodness sakes. I make a ton of them. I don’t take that at face value. Every individual is different. I think everybody has the ability to go out and be the best that they can be.”

Machado’s free-agency odyssey seems to be in holding pattern at the moment. With speculation surrounding contract terms — both in length of the deal and money involved — not to mention the reported emergence of a handful of “mystery teams” putting feelers out, the fact that Renteria spoke so positively about Machado despite the presence of arguable red flags can only help the team’s cause.

Still, Renteria is at a loss as to why Machado has not been signed.

“What the dynamics are for why it’s not completed yet with anybody, let alone ourselves, you kind of scratch your head a little bit,” Renteria said. “But you know what? Everybody’s doing their due diligence and trying to get a young man that’s extremely talented, probably doing the best they can to get him under the best terms.”