White Sox looking to sign John Danks to long-term deal

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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.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.