There were a few trade rumors circling around John Danks heading into this year's deadline, but if the southpaw had his way, he'd remain in Chicago for years to come. Danks tells The Chicago Sun-Times that he and agent Jeff Berry have engaged in some low-level negotiations with the team about a contract extension.
“There’s been a little bit of talks here and there, but nothing super serious,’’ Danks said. “It hasn’t gotten to the point where it’s been a back-and-forth negotiation. It’s been more, ‘OK, we’ll throw this out there, No, OK then we’ll throw this out there.’ It will be another ‘No,’ and then it kind of dies out.
“This is my first choice. I love it here. This is all I know, and I love everything about it. I’ve heard it said that I want free agency, I want to go back to Texas, I just want to move on. That couldn’t be further from the truth, so we’ll see how it works out. There’s a business side to it, and I think it goes both ways. It will play out the way it’s supposed to play out, and hopefully that’s here.’’
Danks has one more year of arbitration eligibility and can become a free agent after the 2012 season. The left-hander is earning $6MM this year and, despite a rough 0-8 start and a stint on the DL with an oblique injury, Danks' numbers (3.90 ERA, 2.61 K/BB rate, 6.8 K/9 rate) are about on par with his career norms. He looks to be on pace for the $10-11MM salary that MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggested Danks could receive in 2012 if he had "a normal platform season."
Danks turned down a four-year, $15MM extension offer from Chicago during the 2009-10 offseason, which looks like a smart move in hindsight. He said he and Berry hadn't discussed figures in a while and denied a report that he wanted "Mark Buehrle-type money," which would make his extension worth roughly $14MM per season.
Though the White Sox ultimately told teams that Danks wasn't available, he was seen as potential trade bait last month if Chicago wanted to avoid paying that 2012 arbitration payout and get a solid return in a deal. Danks admitted that he and another Sox pitcher, Gavin Floyd, were logical trade candidates if the Sox decided to cut costs and rebuild.
"I think [Floyd and I] would be two of the more likely guys to go if they went that direction,’’ Danks said. “I can’t see them doing that, personally, just because we have [Adam] Dunn and [Alex] Rios coming back, so you have pieces there for next year. But if it comes down to that point and they’re looking to go that way, Gavin and I would be possibly two of the first guys to go.’’