White Sox aim for Montero, Banuelos in Danks talks with Yankees

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SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the White Sox have asked the Yankees for both Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos in a John Danks deal.

Danks, 26, is coming off a year in which he went 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA, but he will be highly coveted by several teams in trade talks. The durable left-hander finished with ERAs of 3.77 and 3.72 the two previous year, and he’s fanned seven batters per nine innings over the course of his career. He’s been on the disabled list just once as a major leaguer, that coming last season due to a strained oblique.

But while a lot of teams would love to slot Danks into their rotation, the Yankees aren’t going to give up their top two prospects for him. It’s doubtful they’d part with either Montero or Banuelos. Danks has just one year left before free agency, limiting his trade value, and he’s due to make $8 million or so in arbitration next year.

A Danks trade could be expanded to include left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, but that still wouldn’t pry away Banuelos from the Yankees. The White Sox will need to aim a little lower.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.