John Danks is already under team control in 2011 and 2012 as an arbitration eligible player, but Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com reports that the White Sox are interesting in signing the left-hander to a long-term contract that extends “at least through his first free agent year in 2013.”
Danks earned $3.45 million this season and is in line for a big raise after going 15-11 with a 3.72 ERA and 162/70 K/BB ratio in 213 innings. Combined over the past three seasons Danks has a 3.61 ERA in 608 innings spread over 97 starts and he’s still just 25 years old, so pursuing a long-term deal makes a lot of sense for Chicago.
Padilla speculates that the White Sox could offer Danks a four-year deal “in the $20-million range,” but I’m not sure why he’d be motivated to sign that cheaply. He’d likely get more than $5 million via arbitration for 2011, with another raise expected in 2012, and then his first two years of free agency should be even more expensive. Perhaps a three-year deal worth $20 million would make some sense, but Danks should realistically be asking for closer to $30 million in a four-year deal.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.