John Danks Rumors
Here's the latest from the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo:
- Pitcher Bud Norris of the Astros has "drawn interest from at least six teams," but Houston does not appear interested in trading him.
- The Yankees have had discussions about Lyle Overbay, who could platoon with Juan Rivera at first base in Mark Teixeira's absence. Overbay is currently with the Red Sox, but he has an out clause in his contract that he can trigger on Tuesday.
- The Red Sox aren't inclined to deal reliever Clayton Mortensen, even though he is out of options.
- The Orioles, Brewers, Indians, White Sox, and Mets have all had "internal discussions" about surplus Dodgers starters Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly and Aaron Harang, and scouts feel that the Dodgers will ultimately trade at least one of them.
- The White Sox are looking for another starter because John Danks, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, has struggled this spring, allowing 21 runs in 11 innings.
Here's the latest from around the majors...
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers thought Vladimir Guerrero performed well in his tryout with the team but will have to consult with team management before deciding whether to offer Guerrero a contract, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Towers speculated that Guerrero's only possible role with the club could be as a DH during interleague games, a role that Wily Mo Pena filled for the Snakes last season.
- The Brewers may check in with Derrek Lee in regards to their hole at first base, GM Doug Melvin told reporters (including Scott Miller of CBS Sports) earlier this week. Lee said he didn't plan to officially retire despite a lack of interest this offseason, though he seemed to be holding out for "a perfect situation." The Pirates, Lee's last team, would receive a compensatory draft pick if Lee were to sign a Major League deal, though it's likely that Lee would only be offered a minor league contract, if anything, by the Brewers or another club.
- Torii Hunter tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he would consider returning to the Twins next season if he doesn't re-sign with the Angels. Given that Hunter's stated goal is to play for a contender in 2013, it's hard to see him returning to Minnesota unless he gets no other offers (and, of course, presuming that the Twins would be interested).
- Carl Crawford has been moved to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man roster spot for the called-up Aaron Cook, the Red Sox announced tonight. In a corresponding move, Jose Iglesias was sent down to create space for Cook on the 25-man roster.
- Right-hander Carlos Torres has been called up by the Rockies and filled the last spot on their 40-man roster, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Jhoulys Chacin has been sent down to Triple-A in a corresponding move that opens a spot for Torres on the 25-man roster. Torres last pitched in the majors in 2010 as a member of the White Sox.
- Major League Baseball and the NCAA are in talks regarding increased partnership between the two entities, such as MLB providing funding for scholarships, reports Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports.
- White Sox starter John Danks told reporters (including MLB.com's Scott Merkin) that he isn't feeling any additional pressure from his offseason contract extension. After allowing six earned runs in seven innings against Cleveland tonight, Danks' ERA stands at 6.51 through six starts.
The Giants signed Aubrey Huff to a one-year, $3MM deal on this date in 2010. It turned out to be a tremendous move, as Huff posted a .290/.385/.506 line with 26 homers and the Giants won the World Series. Here are today's links...
- MLB owners are expected to consider expanding the playoffs in 2012 at their upcoming meetings, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. MLB will "likely" expand the postseason in 2012 since commissioner Bud Selig favors the expanded format. In case you missed it, Selig is set to obtain a two-year extension.
- John Danks will earn a salary of just $500K in 2012, but the White Sox will pay him a $7.5MM signing bonus between June and October of this year, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin tweets. The entire $8MM sum counts against Chicago’s payroll.
- Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato discussed the possibility of a worldwide draft with Sponichi (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker). “Japanese baseball is not an American minor league,” he said. “We have to be tough about things to be tough about.”
- Two agents say the Mariners claim to have just $3-4MM to spend on remaining offseason needs, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. One of those agents says the speculation linking Prince Fielder to Seattle is "extremely overblown.''
- The court battle over the Dodgers’ TV rights has ended, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times tweets. The Dodgers agreed to honor their existing deal with Fox and Fox will put an end to related litigation.
- Danks has a full no-trade clause for the first year of his contract, reports MLB.com's Scott Merkin. Danks will have partial no-trade protection for the remaining four years, able to block deals to six teams.
- The extension "really did come out of nowhere," Danks told media (including CSN Chicago's Chuck Garfien) during a conference call today. "Obviously, there was a lot of trade talk, and you can’t help but wonder and think...But I think I kind of took the attitude that until something happens I was going to prepare to be with the White Sox. Fortunately, this came along and I couldn’t be happier.”
- As Garfien notes, this is the first time the White Sox have ever given a pitcher a five-year deal. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf prefers to keep pitchers on contracts of three years or less due to concerns about health and consistency.
- From the same conference call, GM Kenny Williams said his comments earlier this month about the White Sox beginning a "rebuilding" phase were misconstrued. "We are still in win mode,” Williams said. “But at the same time that you’re in win mode, you can be in a little bit of a rebuilding phase, and I tried to articulate that, although I guess that message got lost after I said we were rebuilding. I tried to articulate that it wouldn’t be dominoes falling in terms of a true rebuilding because we have too many good veterans, and veterans looking to bounce back.”
Despite many rumors to the contrary, John Danks isn’t going anywhere. The White Sox announced that they have agreed to sign the left-hander to a five-year, $65MM contract extension. Danks will earn $8MM in 2012 and $14.25MM annually from 2013-16.
Danks would have been eligible for free agency following the 2012 season, his final year as an arbitration eligible player. Matt Swartz projected a 2012 salary of $7.6MM for the 26-year-old CAA client, who earned $6MM in 2011. That means the White Sox are paying $14-15MM for each of the four free agent seasons the deal buys out (Danks' age 28-31 seasons).
Jered Weaver's recent $85MM extension also covered one arbitration season and four free agent years. However, Weaver has superior career stats, was headed for a massive reward through arbitration and has finished in the top five in AL Cy Young balloting in both of the past two seasons. Weaver's deal was definitely out of reach for Danks and agent Jeff Berry.
Another comparable pitcher, Chad Billingsley, signed a three-year extension worth $35MM this spring. His deal covers his final season of arbitration eligibility and his first two seasons of free agency, which means Danks obtained two more years of security. However, Billingsley signed his deal (it's a team-friendly one) two full seasons before free agent eligibility, while Danks was just one season away from the open market. Danks and Billingsley are similar pitchers who have been compared to one another for years through the arbitration process.
Danks posted a 4.33 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 43.8% ground ball rate in 170 1/3 innings for the White Sox this past season. Only 16 pitchers in baseball have produced more wins above replacement since 2008 (15.6).
Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, Jeremy Guthrie, Francisco Liriano, Shaun Marcum, Jonathan Sanchez and Anibal Sanchez are among the 2013 free agents who might look to use Danks' recent deal as a point of reference should they discuss possible extensions with their current teams.
John Danks and Matt Garza have a lot in common. Both are above-average MLB starters in their late-twenties who were traded early in their careers. They’re arguably the best starting pitchers on Chicago’s two teams, and Baseball-Reference suggests they’re about as statistically analogous as two players can be.
As this table shows, Danks and Garza have had remarkably similar careers to date. Their rate stats are comparable and their career win-loss records and innings totals are nearly indistinguishable (Garza has recorded 17 more outs than Danks over the course of their careers). Not surprisingly, the two CAA clients have been linked to one another for years through arbitration.
Danks just signed a five-year $65MM extension, and Garza's agent Nez Balelo no doubt took note, since his client doesn't yet have a long-term deal. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says he considers Garza a potential building block, so it's possible the Cubs will discuss an extension if they don't trade Garza this offseason.
Danks has 23 more days of service time than Garza and those three weeks matter a great deal from a contractual standpoint. Unlike Danks, Garza is a super two player. This means the Cubs control his rights for one extra year (through 2013) and means there’s less urgency to extend Garza.
Should the Cubs look to extend Garza, they’ll have more leverage than their cross-town rivals did, since the extra year of control buys Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer time. Garza projects to earn a total of $20MM or more in the next two years and the Cubs may look to buy out an additional two seasons for $14-15MM apiece if they explore a deal. Perhaps a four-year, $52MM deal would work for both sides.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
The Red Sox were one of the finalists for Gio Gonzalez, but GM Ben Cherington was "not motivated" to deal four prospects for Gonzalez, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. With Gonzalez now on his way to Washington, the Sox will look at other pitching targets like Gavin Floyd, Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and Andrew Bailey, all of whom have drawn some interest from Boston this winter.
Here's the latest from the AL East...
- The Red Sox will hire Bob McClure as the club's new pitching coach, reports Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. McClure has spent the last six seasons as the Royals' pitching coach and was hired by Boston last month as a minor league instructor and special assignment scout.
- The Yankees' chances of signing Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes are "slim to none," according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (Twitter link).
- The Yankees weren't close to a deal for John Danks, a source tells Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. Brian Cashman and Kenny Williams "haven't spoken in weeks" after some initial contact, but the Yankees weren't interested in meeting Chicago's demands for their left-hander. Danks and the White Sox agreed to a five-year contract extension yesterday, ending the Danks trade rumors for the foreseeable future.
- The Yankees and Red Sox were the only teams that paid a luxury tax penalty for 2011, reports The Associated Press. New York paid a $13.9MM penalty (the team's lowest since 2003) while Boston paid $3.4MM.
- The Rays fell out of the race for Carlos Beltran due to Beltran's concerns about playing on turf and spending too much time as a designated hitter, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. The Cardinals, Indians and Blue Jays appear to be the finalists for Beltran, though the Jays could be similarly hampered by the turf and DH issues.
- The Blue Jays are looking for bullpen help in the form of a lefty specialist and a right-handed setup option, reports MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. Also as part of this mailbag piece, Chisholm answers a reader question about Prince Fielder by noting that the Jays are "extremely unlikely" to pursue the free agent slugger unless his "market completely collapses." The major stumbling block is the Jays' club policy against not giving a player more than five guaranteed years on a contract, while Fielder is looking for a 10-year deal.
The Blue Jays appeared to be favored to win the bidding for Yu Darvish, but ultimately lost out to the Rangers. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney takes a close look at what Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has said about the process and repeats that the Blue Jays don’t appear to have come close to matching Texas’ $51.7MM bid. Here are more of Olney’s notes from around MLB...
- Rival executives say the Blue Jays have been engaged in lots of trade talks for cheaper options.
- Some executives say Prince Fielder wants a ten-year deal, but a number of clubs are interested in something closer to a six-year contract, Olney reports.
- Chicago’s asking price for John Danks was “extraordinarily high” before yesterday’s extension, MLB executives tell Olney. The White Sox were looking for a return like the one the Rockies obtained from the Indians for Ubaldo Jimenez in the summer. No teams were willing to match GM Kenny Williams’ asking price, so the White Sox talked extension with Danks.
The White Sox
- The Sergio Santos trade marked “the start of a rebuilding,” according to Kenny Williams and after hearing the GM’s comments it was easier to envision a trade involving Danks than an extension for him. The long-term deal means the White Sox are working with one less trade chip this offseason and makes it harder to decipher the team’s direction. It remains possible that Gavin Floyd will be traded, but it’s hard to get a read on how Chicago’s front office values respectability in 2012 vs. the addition of long-term pieces via trade.
- The extension helps the A’s, who are listening to offers for Gio Gonzalez, another left-handed starter who was born within five months of Danks. Though Gonzalez doesn’t boast Danks’ career numbers, he’s coming off a better season and will be cheaper in 2012 and beyond. With Danks off of the market, Gonzalez’s value likely goes up. The same should apply to other starters on the trade market.
Free Agent Market
- Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, Jeremy Guthrie, Francisco Liriano, Shaun Marcum, Jonathan Sanchez and Anibal Sanchez are set to hit free agency this offseason. Some will sign extensions, but for those who don’t the Danks extension is good news. If fewer legitimate starters are out there next offseason, those who are available should enjoy greater leverage.
Danks’ Career Earnings
- Danks will hit free agency again after the 2016 season, when he’s 31 years old. As Danks’ longtime teammate Mark Buehrle and others have shown, durable left-handers who hit free agency in their early thirties are still in high demand. But if anything goes awry and teams have tepid interest in Danks five years from now, he’ll have pocketed $65MM. As a bonus, he’ll have earned the money playing in one city for one team -- the club that happens to employ his younger brother.
- No extension occurs in a bubble, so Danks’ deal could impact other starters’ negotiations. Danks obtained less than what Cain or Hamels would get and probably far more than what Guthrie or Jonathan Sanchez could command.
- Right-hander Matt Garza, who has been linked to Danks through arbitration for years, could be affected by the deal should the Cubs look to extend him. Danks and Garza are more statistically similar to one another than to any other pitchers in MLB history, according to Baseball-Reference. One factor to keep in mind: Garza is a super two player who won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season. Like Danks, Garza is a CAA client (though they have different agents).
In his latest column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo writes that the Red Sox have to be wary of an American League where the competition continues to get stiffer. With the Albert Pujols-led Angels and the improving Blue Jays aiming to contend for the postseason, the Red Sox may need to continue making moves to avoid missing the playoffs for a third straight year, says Cafardo. Here are some highlights from his piece:
- Other GMs say Ben Cherington has been active in discussing potential moves. The Red Sox have looked into a number of pitchers on the trade market, including Gio Gonzalez, Jair Jurrjens, Gavin Floyd, and John Danks. According to Cafardo, the Sox probably don't have the caliber of prospects the Athletics want for Gonzalez.
- An AL executive on how the Rays might fill their roster holes: "They could just continue to bottom-feed and keep all of their pitching. There's that January market that they've done very well with, and as long as they keep making the right decisions, their pitching is so good it will keep them in that playoff hunt every year."
- Cafardo is skeptical that the Cubs are legit contenders for Prince Fielder, saying right now the team's mindset is "let’s not spend until we’re ready to spend and right now we're not ready to spend." It makes sense then that Cafardo also hears Chicago's bid for Yu Darvish was low, as detailed in MLBTR's Darvish rumors.
- The Astros seem willing to take on some salary in a Wandy Rodriguez trade. We heard during the Winter Meetings that Houston didn't want to eat any of Wandy's contract to move him, so perhaps the club modified that stance after Jeff Luhnow took over as GM.
- One NL scout who watched Joel Zumaya pitch this week said the righty "didn't have much of a breaking ball but threw 93-96 on his fastball. Somebody will bite on him."