The Miami Marlins are very interested in adding starting pitching, particularly guys who are under team control beyond 2014. To that end, they have pursued deals for a variety of names, including Tommy Milone, Wade Miley, and Ian Kennedy. Another name whom Miami might be close to getting is Chicago White Sox starter John Danks. According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Fish have discussed a deal with the White Sox for the lefty Danks.
Danks is not having a good season this year, but he is having a healthy one. After missing most of 2012 and 2013 recovering from surgery for a torn labrum, Danks has put up ugly numbers. Since 2012, when he first got hurt, Danks owns a 4.76 ERA and 4.88 FIP in 323 innings pitched, including 131 innings this season. In those innings, he has garnered 1.5 total Wins Above Replacement.
Danks does fit better in Miami than he would in the shorter fences in US Cellular Field. He would be moving from the third-best place to hit home runs to the second-worst, and the added real estate in Marlins Park should help him avoid the long ball that has plagued him the last three years. He fits the Marlins' modus operandi of pitchers who pound the strike zone, as he owns a career 52.4 percent zone percentage. He has never been one to strike out many hitters, but this approach could help limit his walks and, combined with Marlins Park's dimensions, could turn him closer to league average. As it stands, over the last three years, his ERA has been 16 percent worse than average, while his FIP has been 20 percent worse.
The worst part of a potential deal is Danks's contract. He is still owed $28.5 million on his five-year, $65 million extension signed before the 2012 season. Ironically, that is exactly when Danks, who is just 29 years old this season, began crumbling and hurt himself. Miami would be banking on a nice bounce back, but they would be paying a hefty cost unless Chicago is willing to foot the bill.
Danks may be a slight improvement, but not by much according to his last few years of work. Stay tuned to Fish Stripes for more details on this story and others this trade deadline season!