For teams seeking to trade for a starting pitcher, the White Sox can offer one from Column A and one from Column B.
Lefty John Danks appeals to high-revenue teams – he will get a raise from $6 million in his final year of arbitration, then hit free agency.
Righty Gavin Floyd, on the other hand, fits nicely for low-revenue clubs – he is signed for $7 million next season with a $9.5 million club option for 2013.
The White Sox are drawing interest in both pitchers, major-league sources say. Whether they trade one, both or neither likely hinges on the trade offers they receive.
Danks will hit the open market at 27 next off-season and pitch his first free-agent season at 28. His career numbers – 54-56, 4.03 ERA – might appear modest. But he averaged nearly 195 innings over the past four seasons, and his ERA, except for the first two months of 2011, was in the 3.70 range.
Free-agent lefty C.J. Wilson, who is expected to sign for a minimum of five years and $80 million, has been a starter for only two years. Danks, if he pitches well next season, presumably would be worth much more. A big-money team such as the Yankees or Red Sox could trade for him, then try to re-sign him.
Floyd, who turns 29 on Jan. 27, is not as accomplished as Danks and lacks the left-hander’s upside, but his price is right. Even a low-revenue club such as the Pirates could afford Floyd’s salaries in 2012 and ’13, and fit him nicely into the middle of their rotation.
The White Sox are entering a transition period – their new manager, Robin Ventura, has never managed or coached at any level, and the team will give him time to grow into the job.
Right fielder Carlos Quentin, entering his free-agent year, is perhaps the most likely White Sox player to be traded, but the offers for Danks and/or Floyd might be too good to resist.
One from Column A, one from Column B.