Pena on board; Danks remains

Add Tony Pena’s salary to the books.  He and the Sox agreed to a $1.2 million contract, meaning every arbitration-eligible player is set for 2010 with the exception of John Danks.
Expect to wait until late Wednesday for any news on a new contract for Danks, as he’ll be undergoing an examination that day to determine if the circulation issues he had in the middle of 2009 are truly a thing of the past.
Danks’ situation is comparable to two other lefties who got off the fast starts — Mark Buehrle and Jon Lester.  Both received extensions to buy out at least a year of free agency, and here’s how their deals break down (* denotes club option):

Mark Buehrle Jon Lester
2004 $3.5M 2010 $3.75M
2005 $5.75M 2011 $5.75M
2006 $7.75M 2012 $7.62M
2007 $9.5M* 2013 $11.625M
2014 $13M*

The four years and $28M remaining on Lester’s contract seem like the right numbers for Danks.  Lester is the better pitcher, but he negotiated after his second big-league season instead of his third, so he left some money on the table.  The bigger question is whether Danks’ contract will end like Lester’s, with a guaranteed fourth year and a club option for a fifth.  Jerry Reinsdorf does not like to go past three years, but Danks has a little more leverage than Buehrle, who negotiated his extension after his worst season.
Anybody want to take any guesses?

Greg Walker is encouraged by Alex Rios after a three-day hitting session in a provocative story by Joe Cowley.  A few reactions:

  1. Rios was notoriously streaky in Toronto.  He’s going to look great and awful, just like Nick Swisher, and everybody better be prepared for that no matter how great his swing looks at Camp Cora.
  2. Cowley describes Rios as “laid-back” and “almost Javy Vazquez-like at times. Almost.”  This won’t be the last you hear of it.
  3. Dayan Viciedo also attended Camp Cora, but I doubt it’ll be enough to keep him at third.

Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Paul Konerko ponders his future, and J.J. tries to figure out what the Sox might do with him.

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I am really gonna try to block out all the stupid hype that comes from Camp Cora and Spring Training in general. Im just happy we will enter camp without people saying how “noone on the sox wants to face mike macdougal in intersquad” unfortunately everyone else in the AL loved to face him, and how Jose Contreres is in the best shape of his life, and how Josh Fields looks like a new player at third (ok I bought into that one), and how “ozzie is stressing the fundamentals” and blah blah blah
Danks by normal baseball standards certainly deserves to have his arb years and a free agent year bought out, but Im still one of the few that strongly believes you simply dont do that with any pitchers and injury prone position players.


I usually agree with your approach to a pitcher’s arbitration years. But I suspect Danks might get a deal if he wants it and the exam checks out okay. I think the Sox would be eager to demonstrate to others that dumping Boras is in the player’s interest. I honestly think their hatred of Boras runs that deep.


Personal vendetta’s can easily cloud judgement. Give Danks a little more year by year and when he is about to hit free agency show him the big money. Their just arent a lot of good reasons to guarantee money that doesnt need to be guaranteed. Sox are a class organization and even if they dont reach a long term deal with Danks today I dont think he will hold it against us.


what was your big monday announcement?




Wow, comparisons to Nick Swisher and Javy Vazquez? Cowley must really like Rios. I’m surprised he didn’t throw in a few Cabrera and Garland comparisons for good measure.


1 year 3.45


If Cowley had seen this video, he might hold off on the Javy comparisons.
(Uncensored, so probably NSFW)