Good ol' SoxFest provided the impetus to strike deals once again, as the White Sox resolved all their remaining arbitration cases in one fell swoop on Tuesday. The damage (2010 salary in parentheses):
John Danks: $6 million ($3.45 million)
Carlos Quentin: $5.05 million ($3.2 million)
- Tony Pena: $1.6 million ($1.2 million)
With those salaries on the books, the Sox have committed a record $124 million to the 2011 payroll -- and that's before all the league-minimum deals get worked out. That's a $20 million increase over 2010. Giddyup.
We all know Danks has benefited by not accepting long-term deals in either of the last two offseasons. Jon Lester has served as a popular comparison for determining the cost of locking up a young, talented lefty (five years, $30 million back in 2009). However, for the first time, Danks is set to earn more than Lester, who will make "only" $5.75 million in 2011.
But oddly enough, Quentin also came out ahead. Back when Gavin Floyd signed his four-year, $16 million extension in March of 2009, Kenny Williams floated the same deal to Danks and Quentin. At the time, it didn't make sense for either to accept it, but after watching Quentin struggle through the past two seasons, I figured he made the wrong decision.
Nope. He's $50,000 ahead on Floyd for 2011. And that just underscores why the Sox will have to be blown away to part with their BHB.
It doesn't sound like Danks is any rush to commit to a multi-year deal. From the above Scott Merkin article:
"We are all happy," Danks said. "I'm here, and there isn't really a need for them to do that. I'm really not sweating it. They have to do what they have to do, but everyone knows I'm extremely happy with where I'm at and I'm extremely happy here in Chicago."
The one-year contract doesn't eliminate the possibility of a long-term deal before the season starts, because Floyd overwrote his one-year deal when he signed the four-year contract on March 22, 2009. I'd call the prospect unlikely, though. With two rotation spots up in the air after the season and Chris Sale's future uncertain, the Sox might want to figure out where they stand with their other two lefties before going hard after Danks.
While the Sox were busy adding Danks' name to the SoxFest lineup, Philip Humber snuck onto the 40-man roster, as the Sox claimed him from Oakland.
At one point in his career, Humber was hyped enough to become either the No. 1 or No. 1(a) piece in the four-player package the New York Mets sent to Minnesota for Johan Santana. Fortunately for the Sox, neither he nor Carlos Gomez panned out.
Now, he's just another former Royal, and the White Sox will once again try to make a man out of one. Given the way the Sox pounded him the both times they saw him (Aug. 21 and Sept. 12), I wouldn't bet on him contributing. His fastball isn't as fast as it used to be, and when he faced the Sox, he basically alternated sharp curves with rollers.
The 40-man roster now stands at 38.