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Danks’ Contract Bearable Until the Price is Right

Despite interest from the Marlins and Yankees (and possibly others), the White Sox were unable to unload lefty John Danks prior to Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

It seems most conceivable that neither team was willing to bite the bullet on the $28.5 million owed to Danks over the next two seasons, though his consistency and veteran presence do seem to be coveted.

Although the idea of Danks being the highest-paid player with the club makes me cringe, it is hard to imagine where the White Sox would be without him, given that the Sox lead the league in walks allowed, and are sixth worst in team ERA. Not to mention, Scott Carroll and Hector Noesi are the two starters behind him in the rotation.

Here is how John Danks has performed thus far relative to his peers, sorted by 2014 salary:

2014 Salary

Record

QS/GS

ERA

FIP/xFIP

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

Hiroki Kuroda

$16 m

7-7

13/22

3.98

3.91/3.80

1.22

6.17

1.79

Anibal Sanchez

$15.8 m

7-5

9/19

3.57

2.90/3.76

1.10

6.91

2.30

Max Scherzer

$15.5 m

13-3

15/22

3.27

3.00/3.14

1.17

10.29

2.53

John Danks

$14.2 m

9-6

14/22

4.50

4.85/4.71

1.42

6.22

3.31

Ervin Santana

$14.1 m

10-6

14/20

3.63

3.09/3.23

1.23

8.09

2.54

Matt Garza

$12.5 m

7-7

15/22

3.74

3.58/4.06

1.17

6.44

2.77

Edwin Jackson

$11 m

5-11

5/22

5.79

4.25/3.98

1.59

8.12

3.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite posting an ERA above his career average (4.23) and a career-high walk rate, Danks has still managed to convert quality starts at virtually the same rate as his comparables. But, with his fastball velocity at a career low (88.2 MPH, down from 90.5), combined with relative underperformance in nearly every other statistical category, it is hard for teams to justify paying such a substantial price for Danks.

So unloading his contract may be important for the team’s future, but what’s most important to not is that there are still two more offseasons and two more deadlines in which GM Rick Hahn can entertain offers for the 29 year-old southpaw.

With the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline in the rearview, Danks’ continued presence with the club could prove beneficial for the White Sox young and developing rotation, including his best friend Chris Sale.

Playoff contenders are always more than willing to overpay for a veteran starting pitcher. Pair that with the fact that Danks does have value with this young ball club – even if not so much on paper, and you realize why Hahn is not rushing the unloading process.

Posted by contributor, Andrew Hancock

Photo Credit: Leon Halip, Getty Images

Zachary Gropper

About Zachary Gropper

Zach is the Managing Editor of GrabSomeBench.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @zmgrop.

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