John Danks Rumors
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."
Gio Gonzalez, Mat Latos and Jair Jurrjens are among the pitchers on the Reds’ wish list, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Latos may be available in the right deal, Gonzalez could be had, but Oakland's asking price is high and Jurrjens also appears to be available. GM Walt Jocketty recently told Rosenthal that he’s looking aggressively at ways of improving his team’s pitching staff, despite the high asking prices sellers are setting for available arms.
Matt Garza, who could earn a salary approaching $9MM through arbitration, is too expensive for Jocketty’s liking and John Danks is less appealing than some alternatives, as he’s under team control for just one season, Rosenthal writes. James Shields appears to be out of the reach for every team, including the Reds, and Jocketty is aiming to obtain a better pitcher than Wade Davis.
The Gio Gonzalez trade rumors have been vast and varied so far this offseason. Here's the latest on the A's left-hander from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com:
The Mets and Mariners are now among the teams in on Gonzalez, a source tells Rosenthal (Twitter link), while the Marlins, Reds, Red Sox and Rangers remain in the mix.
As well, the Nationals are interested in Gonzalez, according to Rosenthal (via Twitter), who adds that Washington considers White Sox lefty John Danks an alternative. The Nats' focus remains acquiring a left-handed starter after missing out on Mark Buehrle, who signed with the Marlins.
The Mets are an odd addition to the growing list of Gonzalez suitors, as they have been rumored to be open to trading one of their young pitchers, Jonathon Niese. The Mariners, meanwhile, are thought to be seeking offense - including, perhaps, Prince Fielder - although Gonzalez would make for a nice No. 2 or 3, along with Michael Pineda, behind ace Felix Hernandez.
A week ago, Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were unwilling to trade Manny Banuelos or Jesus Montero for White Sox lefty John Danks. The newly-minted CBS Sports scribe now tweets that the White Sox asked for two of Montero, Banuelos, or Dellin Betances, and the Yankees might give up one in a package.
It's easy to see why the Yankees have resisted so far, as Danks is only under team control for one year. He'll certainly be motivated with free agency on the horizon, and he would be just 27 years old on the open market. If Danks can put up 32 starts with a sub-4.00 ERA, as was his custom prior to 2011, I think he'll be able to top four years and $50MM. Edwin Jackson's upcoming contract may set the bar.
One executive told ESPN's Buster Olney during the Winter Meetings that the White Sox sought a "Ubaldo Jimenez" package for Danks, which would be hard to defend since Jimenez came with two-plus years of cost certainty. In addition to the Yankees, AL East rivals such as the Blue Jays and Red Sox appear to have checked in.
2:42pm: Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star adds (via Twitter) that the two sides also discussed possible matchups for John Danks and Gordon Beckham, but in the end Toronto ended up settling on Santos "for now."
10:46am: The White Sox and Blue Jays have discussed a trade involving Carlos Quentin, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. However, Heyman adds that talks appear to have cooled, as the White Sox are seeking other suitors.
With the White Sox looking to rebuild, Quentin is one of many veterans that could be had in the right deal this offseason. The Padres, Red Sox, and Orioles are among the teams reported to have had interest in the 29-year-old.
The White Sox and Red Sox are meeting to discuss Chicago starters John Danks and Gavin Floyd, tweets ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes. Yesterday White Sox GM Kenny Williams called the Sergio Santos trade "the start of a rebuilding," but said that he'd probably keep his pitching intact due to insufficient offers.
The White Sox are looking for a "Ubaldo Jimenez package" in return for John Danks, an executive told ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link). The Rockies' haul for Jimenez at this year's trade deadline consisted of four pitching prospects, including two former first-rounders in Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. However, Jimenez was still under team control for two-plus seasons when the Indians acquired him, while Danks' contract expires at the end of 2012.
Let's check out a couple more White Sox links (newest at the top)...
- Referring to the Santos trade, GM Kenny Williams told reporters (including Knobler): "It is the start of a rebuilding ... And you guys know I have not used that word in 12 years."
- Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin, and Gordon Beckham could all be gone by Opening Day if Chicago's rebuild goes according to plan, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
- The White Sox have talked to Aaron Rowand's agent about bringing the outfielder back in 2012, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
- Neither Keith Law at ESPN.com or R.J. Anderson and Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus are overly enamored with the newest member of the White Sox, Nestor Molina, acquired today for Sergio Santos. Both pieces require a subscription.