On Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox signed LHP John Danks to a five-year extension that should keep him in a White Sox uniform well past his 30th birthday. The lefty from Texas started 27 games last season for the Sox with a 4.33 ERA and 3.82 FIP.
The extension follows what some consider was a career-worst year for Danks, who posted an 8-12 win-loss record. Though, according to Jim Margalus of South Side Sox, Danks could very well be worth the his new salary:
If you're feeling charitable, a lot of Danks' struggles in 2011 can be explained away. He started the season with an 0-8 record he didn't deserve, and at the end, he wasn't the only one who looked like he couldn't wait for the season to be over.
In the creamy middle from June to August, he went 6-1 with a 2.03 ERA.
There's nothing in Danks' peripherals that suggests he's a different pitcher from his excellent three-year run from 2008 to 2010. His problems last season were most likely bad luck snowballing into bad pitching.
Chris Cwik of FanGraphs also weighed in on the Danks extension, agreeing that the lefty should have not problem being good enough to earn his pay, but also noting that the extension does not compare favorably to similar, recent extensions:
Out of context, the deal looks pretty fair for the White Sox. Danks is good, young and left-handed. He should live up to the financial aspects of the contract.
When looking at the [Chad Billingsley] and [Wandy Rodriguez] contracts, though, one has to wonder why [White Sox GM Kenny Williams] paid Danks significantly more money than the market seemed to dictate. The move is also interesting considering the White Sox are attempting to rebuild ... The Danks extension won’t kill the White Sox, but giving him this much money right now certainly makes things confusing.
The White Sox acquired Danks from the Texas Rangers in December 2006 and have gotten over 900 innings out of the starter since the 2007 MLB season. Danks will be 27 next season.
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