The White Sox announced this afternoon that John Danks has been designated for assignment.
While 2015 wasn't a great year for Danks, it showed some improvements. He mixed in his curveball more and seemed to have a bit more control with his pitches. Walks and strikeouts per nine innings improved and he had a post-surgery low FIP of 4.49. He even saw some velocity improvements on his fastball in the second half, so things were looking like he'd at least be an OK fifth starter until someone in the minors could step up if needed this season.
Unfortunately, he wasn't able to build on any of that in 2016. His fastball velocity dropped from just over 90 mph at the end of last season to 88 mph, and that showed up in his stats (7.25 ERA/6.03 FIP/5.72 xFIP). In the past, those numbers combined with an 0-4 record, would be troubling for certain, but not necessarily a death sentence. However, with the team 18-4 outside of Danks' starts and reports of an additional 100,000 in ticket sales last week, eating a little over $13 million of his remaining 2016 salary seemed worth it.
As for Danks' spot in the rotation, the Sox are content with Erik Johnson for now.
Carlos Rodon moves up to tomorrow. Erik Johnson on Thursday. But 5th spot is open beyond that start. Could be another move next week.— Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes) May 3, 2016
With this move, the White Sox 40-man roster will go down to 38.