CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 02: Starting pitcher John Danks #50 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on August 2, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\120261501.jpg
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:23AM
MINNEAPOLIS — John Danks isn’t sure of the end game in all of this, but he said the idea that he’s simply biding his time with the White Sox so he can explore free agency after the 2012 season couldn’t be further from the truth.
Danks told the Sun-Times on Sunday that while all has been quiet recently, he and his agent, Jeff Berry, have had some talks with the organization and that he wants to stay with the Sox.
“There’s been a little bit of talks here and there, but nothing super serious,’’ Danks said. “It hasn’t gotten to the point where it’s been a back-and-forth negotiation. It’s been more, ‘OK, we’ll throw this out there, No, OK then we’ll throw this out there.’ It will be another ‘No,’ and then it kind of dies out.
“This is my first choice. I love it here. This is all I know, and I love everything about it. I’ve heard it said that I want free agency, I want to go back to Texas, I just want to move on. That couldn’t be further from the truth, so we’ll see how it works out. There’s a business side to it, and I think it goes both ways. It will play out the way it’s supposed to play out, and hopefully that’s here.’’
The talk during the All-Star break was that Danks wanted Mark Buehrle-type money, which means an average of $14 million a year. He made $6 million this season, and the Sox still have control of him for one more year of arbitration before he would hit the open market.
“To be totally honest, Jeff and I haven’t talked about that in a while,’’ Danks said. “I wouldn’t even know what Jeff would be looking for from the Sox, what his target would be, so the idea that I’m looking for Mark Buehrle money, I don’t know where that came from. As far as having a set goal or what not, your guess is as good as mine.’’
But the 26-year-old southpaw also knows that there’s a good chance, with the way this disappointing year has played out, that he could be part of a salary-dump trade this offseason. With the payroll at $127 million at the start of 2011, and the Sox taking a huge hit attendance-wise, a clean-up job would seem more appropriate than anything else for general manager Ken Williams.
There were rumors at the trade deadline that Danks, Gavin Floyd and Carlos Quentin were being discussed in deals, but Williams held his hand rather than raise the white flag.
Unless the Sox show some serious life in the next seven weeks, Williams might be forced to pull the trigger on trades by chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
“I think [Floyd and I] would be two of the more likely guys to go if they went that direction,’’ Danks said. “I can’t see them doing that, personally, just because we have [Adam] Dunn and [Alex] Rios coming back, so you have pieces there for next year. But if it comes down to that point and they’re looking to go that way, Gavin and I would be possibly two of the first guys to go.’’
Danks is counting on the Sox keeping part of the core intact — and his agent, who also represents Buehrle, getting another deal done.
“I think Jeff and [assistant GM] Rick [Hahn], it seems like they have more than just a business relationship,’’ Danks said. “They can say hello and be friendly and what not. So I think it only helps.
“But my job is to go out, pitch and try and win games. You just hope that it works out after that.’’