No More Danks, Please

John DanksLast year around this time, I wrote a piece titled “No More Flowers, Please“. In case you didn’t catch it, or don’t remember it, you can assume that I didn’t have many nice things to say about White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers.

I was fed up with Flowers’ production, or lack thereof, to the point where I decided to write an article about it. The same can be said about Flowers almost a year later, but he is no longer the lone entity in my White Sox doghouse.

Tyler, slide on over; and make room for John Danks.

Danks once had a lot of promise; and that, combined with the fact that the Sox have invested a lot of money in him, is preventing the team from cutting him loose. He was a productive pitcher in his first few years in the big leagues. The Sox gave him a 5-year, $65 million deal before the start of the 2012 season. They had the decision of re-signing the iconic yet aging Mark Buehrle, or the young promising Danks.

In the three-plus seasons since the Sox opted to keep Danks over Buehrle, the team has not been to the playoffs once. Over that span, Danks has 18 wins, 33, losses, and a 4.87 ERA. Buehrle, meanwhile, has gone 45-37 with a 3.78 ERA.

The bottom line is that the Sox need to cut their losses. Danks is nowhere near the same pitcher he was before he had surgery in 2012. At age 30, his odds of turning back the clock aren’t very strong. Danks used to live in the 93-95 mph range with his fastball in his early years. Nowadays, he is lucky to touch 90 mph. A lot of time has been spent over the past few seasons in changing Danks’ style of pitching since he is no longer able to overpower any hitters. The results, however, have been nonexistent.

Danks is making over $15 million this season and will be making the same amount next year. Obviously, the Sox don’t want to spend that much money on a middle-relief pitcher. They also wouldn’t want to give that money to an unemployed, former baseball player. But at some point, this team simply needs to cut its losses.

An additional handcuff comes with the fact that Danks’ lack of production combined with his hefty contract makes him untradeable. Why would any team want to pay him as much money as the Sox?

Granted, the Sox have a lot of problems right now. But sending Danks to the mound every fifth game simply isn’t helping the team win. In fact, it is hurting the team’s chances, considerably.

Maybe the Sox can think of the problem this way. Paying a pitcher $15 million to do nothing is better than paying a pitcher $15 million to get shelled.