Dec
08

Scouting the Trade Market: Floyd vs. Danks

By

The trade of Sergio Santos from the White Sox to the Blue Jays signaled that the White Sox were beginning the process of rebuilding, a word which the GM Kenny Williams used himself. Yankee fans have long hoped for the acquisition of the Chicago lefty John Danks, and this was the clearest indication yet that he would become available by trade. Yet Danks isn’t the only pitcher Chicago is now willing to deal. They also expressed willingness to move righty Gavin Floyd. Given the Angels’ signing of C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols, one has to wonder if the Rangers will be extra aggressive in their bid for Japanese righty Yu Darvish. If so, the best route available to the Yankees for the acquisition of another starting pitcher may in fact be a deal with the White Sox. All things considered, who is a better fit for the Yankees, Gavin Floyd or John Danks?

From a performance perspective, it’s difficult to see a lot of daylight between the two pitchers. Over the past five years, they’ve both averaged a strikeout rate around 7.0 and a walk rate around 3.0. Their career ERAs are only 0.07 apart (3.85 for Danks, 3.92 for Floyd) and their career FIPs differ by only 0.03 (4.06 for Danks, 4.03 for Floyd). For all intents and purposes, they get roughly the same number of ground balls.

From a pitching repertoire approach, Danks is your prototypical lefty. He leans heavily on his fastball, but thanks to the tutelage of pitching coach Don Cooper Danks also throws a mean cutter. This isn’t one of those weird Pitch F(x) classification issues, either. Cooper is famous for teaching his pitchers how to throw the cutter. Danks will also mix in a slider on occasion, but his real go-to offspeed pitch is the changeup. Floyd is a similar pitcher, throwing a straight fastball and, yes, a cutter. Floyd will also mix in a changeup infrequently, but his main offspeed pitch is the curveball. From a velocity standpoint they both sit in the low 90s with their fastballs.

There are a few key differences between the two pitchers though. To start, Danks is a lefty and Floyd is a righty. Further, Danks is a solid two years and three months younger than Floyd, and won’t turn 27 years old until the second week in April. Floyd does have a four-inch height advantage over Danks, though, standing in at 6’6″. The biggest difference is perhaps their contract statuses. This is Danks’ final year under contract with the White Sox, and he’ll become a free agent after this season. Floyd will make $7M this year and has a club option for $9.5M for 2013, so he’s under team control for one more year at a desirable salary. Even if the Yankees were to ink Danks to an extension after acquiring him, they’d surely have to pay him more than $10M per season.

From a performance perspective, the two are virtually equal. Danks has an advantage on Floyd in youth, but Floyd’s contract situation is more desirable than Danks. That said, Danks still seems like the preferred candidate amongst fans. Perhaps it’s the fact that he’s a lefty and hearkens one RAB writer back to Andy Pettitte, or perhaps it’s his age and frame that leads one to believe that the best is yet to come. Regardless, the relative proximity in quality between Danks and Floyd will mean that the team’s rotation will be upgraded no matter who they get. Just as long as they get someone.

Categories : Hot Stove League

65 Comments»

  1. Yank The Frank says:

    Danks rhymes with Yanks. Do it.

  2. Craig Maduro says:

    I still say going big on the Darvish bid is the best move at this point. If it turns out that a “big” bid is not enough then I’ll start focusing more on the trade market.

    As far as Danks vs. Floyd though, just give us whichever one is cheaper. Neither one really interests me that much.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      i am with u I’d rather roll dice on Darvish because of his upside then take a chance on Danks or Floyd all though i still see Danks or Floyd as upgrades to what we got They really don’t impress me all that much though Would rather have Gio Gonzalez but his pricetag is steep Garza would also be very high on my list and i like Jair as well

      • Chen Meng Wang says:

        Please learn how to use periods, this was just difficult to read.

      • Craig Maduro says:

        Yea, I think price was the key word there. If Austin Romine and Adam Warren (for example) are heading the trade package for Danks, I’m all for it. That doesn’t seem to be the case at this point though. I’m with you on Gio and Garza, however I’d probably rank Jair last in that quartet.

  3. UncleArgyle says:

    I’ve always thought a Danks for Romine swap makes sense for both teams. But I confess I don’t know enough about the White Sox catching situation beyond AJ Pierzynski.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Pierzynski is too big, slow, unathletic to be a major league catcher.

      • mustang says:

        Yet he looks more like a catcher then some people we know…lol

        Your too funny.

        • mustang says:

          Yes, yes I know, I know Miguel Cabrera…….

        • Nick says:

          Dude you are a troll. Just drop the Montero and catching thing. By the way, it’s “You’re too funny” as in You are, not your.

          • mustang says:

            Dude I’m not trolling and the site are based on opinions. I have mines, he has his and you have yours so please let me express mine. If you don’t like it don’t comment that simple.

          • mustang says:

            And thanks for the grammar help it’s a weakness.

          • mustang says:

            “Just drop the Montero and catching thing.”

            It can’t be drop because its there. If people are going to rally so strongly behind his strength then they should address is weakness it would make for better argument. And the DH/1B/ C thing is not going to cut it when they have a team full of aging DH types, an established 1st basement and a defensive catcher with a good bat. Plus being load in the catching position in the minors.

            • JAG says:

              This narrative keeps coming up. Other than A-Rod, who else is an “aging DH type”? Posada, Giambi, Matsui, Damon, and Abreu are long gone. Swisher is clearly a usable fielder, Teixeira is still a top-notch defender, Granderson, Cano, and Gardner are in their primes, and Martin and Jeter aren’t DH types at all, they should both be on the bench when they’re not playing. That leaves A-Rod and Montero splitting DH time. What’s wrong with that?

              I admit, having Montero turn into Mike Piazza would be amazing, and I’d prefer to see him at C until it’s obvious he can’t cut it. I’d also prefer to see Joba starting until it’s obvious HE can’t cut it. I don’t think that Montero being effectively resigned to DHing hurts the team at all, though, and it certainly isn’t an issue right now in terms of lineup management.

              • Craig Maduro says:

                I’m with you here. I can’t stand the utter discouragement over the idea that Montero might make his mark primarily as a DH. Every AL team has to have a DH (and rightfully so) so what’s the problem with rolling with a young stud at the “position”?

              • mustang says:

                Although I don’t totally agree you guys make a good strong argument. My problem here is that the Yankees have the resourse to cover for Montero. What they don’t have is what Montero would bring back in a Gio trade a good, young, under control, lefthanded, #2 starting picther with the POSSIBLE upside of being number #1.

                • Craig Maduro says:

                  Who do they have that can be a good, young, cost controlled power bat? They can go out and get Darvish with just money, but there aren’t any potentially big bats that the Yankees can add (at Montero’s cheap price) over the next few years.

                  Another big bat isn’t an immediate concern, but it won’t be long before Granderson and Cano are on the wrong side of 30.

                  • mustang says:

                    Ask you said “big bat isn’t an immediate concern” I’m sure they can find one when the time comes as they did with Granderson. Bats are a lot easier to find then a good, young, under control, left-handed, #2 starting pitcher. Yes, Darvish well only cost money he is also totally unproven on MLB level comparing him to Gio is so silly its not even worth writing about.

                    I’m not exactly comfortable going to next season with the same rotation and an unproven Darvish in the fold.

  4. WP says:

    Danks for Romine, Warren and Heathcott….should be more than enough once the White Sox get back to reality!

  5. LiterallyFigurative says:

    Danks is younger, has better K, BB and ERA and is left handed.

    While the #’s aren’t stark, I choose Danks any day.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      And they’re asking Montero and Banuelos for 3.70-3.80 FIP pitcher. xFIP, tERA and SIERA tells an even worse story. Everyone is going crazy about Gio “HOLY SHIT IF WE TRADE SLADE HEATHCOTT IT’S A FUCKING OVERPAY!!!!!!” Gonzalez. Danks isn’t that much better.

      Floyd is posting nearly exact stats and isn’t reported to be worth Montero and Banuelos in the Sox’s eyes.

      • Mister Delaware says:

        Danks is a better bet because he doesn’t have an obvious, overriding flaw like Gonzalez while having the same performance upside.

        • Craig Maduro says:

          I’m not quite sure Danks has the same upside as Gio. I don’t have a scouting degree to back that up, but I do watch a ton of baseball (mostly Yankees though) and read a lot of scouting reports (mostly from the BA Prospect Handbook) and from what I’ve gathered, Gio has better stuff and better results despite the ridiculously high BB rate.

          Gonzalez already appears to be knocking on the door of becoming a dominant starter – he’s at least on the right block. I don’t see dominance from Danks yet.

          • Mister Delaware says:

            I think if they both put absolutely everything together, Gio has better stuff because he has the better fastball. But I trust Danks to be better because I think he’s the better pitcher, partly based on Gio’s inability to avoid walks, partly on the vast difference in his home and away results. I think Oakland’s park (and Gio’s results there) does a lot to mask the downside of issuing a walk every other inning.

      • LiterallyFigurative says:

        Oh no, I’m not willing to trade ManBan or Jesus for any of these guys. I’m just saying that between Danks and Floyd, Id rather Danks.

  6. Monteroisdinero says:

    Last I saw Banuelos pitching to Montero he was striking out Youkilis on a 3-2 changeup with the bases loaded in ST.

    Young Yanks on the rise for less than a million combined.

  7. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    Given a choice I would take the lefty any day for Yankee Stadium. Of course, the price is what worries me. So long as we don’t give up Montero or the Bs I am all for it. However, as Craig Maduro states we have to wait for the outcome of the Darvish deal.

    • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

      I should have added Noesi as a no no for a trade. I think eventually he will have more upside than either of those two.

      • 28 this year says:

        i just want to know if him hitting 95 in the Dominican is even slightly true. He’s got number 2 stuff if thats true.

  8. IB6 UB9 says:

    I don’t care for the defeatist take on Darvish. Nobody knows anything.

  9. Mister Delaware says:

    I hate FIP relative to xFIP.

  10. DerMegalodonster says:

    “[Some] Yankee fans… ”

    Ugh. This is really nauseating for ‘other’ Yankee fans. We’re the New York Yankees – big game hunters damn it!
    Seriously though, would much rather save whatever chips we’d have to give for something much better (as filler, obviously).
    Really have to question how much of an improvement either one would be. Is it probable that both would pitch better than Hughes, Noesi, a regressed Freddy or Bartolo? Perhaps, but neither is it a no-brainer and even if true, how much better?

    4.33 and 4.37 in the AL Central? Meh and meh. What is the fascination?
    Sign Colon and wait till the trade deadline if you have to.

    “We like to think of ourselves as big-game hunters around here.” ~ Brian Cashman, 2003
    “We’re still the Yankees, still big-game hunters…” ~ Brian Cashman, 2007
    “… ?…” ~ Brian Cashman, 2011

    • Craig Maduro says:

      I’m pretty much with you.

      From where and when did this John Danks love fest begin? He is the definition of “meh”.

      If John Danks was a dish at restaurant it would consist of one boiled chicken breast, chopped lettuce a lot of white rice and a choice between water and skim milk.

      • Tony says:

        Hahaha I completely agree.. Danks, Floyd.. Really just mediocre.. I’d much rather have Gio.

      • Fishjam says:

        What would AJ Burnett be?

      • Mister Delaware says:

        Wouldn’t “meh” be roasted chicken? Palatable but not interesting?

        (The lovefest is because Danks is a really good, young lefty pitcher whose peripherals stayed about the same while his ERA jumped. Buy low(er) opportunity. Love him.)

        • Craig Maduro says:

          Yea probably. The dish I described is more along the lines of Mark Buehrle, Rodrigo Lopez or John Lannan but I felt like exaggerating a bit.

          Danks is solid, but “really good” and “stud” (you didn’t say stud, but I’ve seen it around) just don’t fit. His peripherals are alright, nothing to sneeze at, but they’re just solid. I can’t really give him much more than that.

          And if the price really was low – i.e. a package centered around Austin Romine and a Killer B(ack end starter) I’d be a lot more open. I’ve just seen way too many people willing to trade Betances for him and that move would annoy me.

          • Mister Delaware says:

            What are the realistic odds Betances hits his best case as a legit #1/#2? Danks is pretty much a good #2 right now. Banuelos or Montero and I’m out. Betances? Sign me up.

            • Craig Maduro says:

              Danks is a No. 3. As far as Betances though, I don’t know what the odds are that he will reach his ceiling. Realistically, they probably aren’t THAT high. Who knows though? I can only go on the numbers and scouting reports.

              I’m not trying to prospect hug for the sake of it, but I’d just rather the Yankees use their blue chips for a legit ace-type stud.

              • JAG says:

                Now, didn’t the analysis of Danks on this very site list his best comparable as Andy Pettitte? I dunno, Betances’ ceiling is enticing, but I’d be perfectly happy with acquiring a 26-year-old Pettitte in exchange for a 23-year-old who has barely touched the MLB.

                • Craig Maduro says:

                  Yea, I read that and I think Moshe put together a nice post. Although I can’t remember if he said that Danks’ “best comparable” was Andy Pettitte. Didn’t he just say that there are similarities?

                  Either way, I’m still not buying. Comparing favorably to a Yankee favorite is one thing, but expecting the “next” Andy Pettitte in a John Danks deal is only setting yourself up for disappointment.

                  And I’ll say again, I’m not just bear hugging Betances and his upside/potential/any other adjective that means you haven’t done anything yet for the sake of it. I’d just rather use them for someone better than Danks.

              • Mister Delaware says:

                Almost 3/1 SO/BB, better than avg swinging strike rates, 3.30 to 4.30 ERA as a full time starter … that’s a #2 in my book. Pretty much a lefty Matt Cain if you look at the peripherals (and Danks doesn’t get to face pitchers).

                • Craig Maduro says:

                  We’re talking about a 4.14 FIP to go along with a 42.6 GB% and 7 K/9 though. Those are rock solid numbers, but just not worthy of the No. 2 label nor a trade package built around a blue chip prospect.

                  I guess we’re just reading different books.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          Giving Montero and Banuelos is not buying low.

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