Tag:John Danks
Posted on: August 24, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 8:18 pm

A few names on waivers, and what it means

The Red Sox put Carl Crawford on trade waivers Wednesday, which means nothing.

The Reds put Ramon Hernandez on the wire, which could be more interesting.

The White Sox put John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Paul Konerko and Matt Thornton on, which may or may not mean anything.

The waiver process is theoretically secret and absolutely prone to misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

Dozens of players are placed on waivers every day during August. Quite a few are claimed. Very few are traded.

Does it mean anything that the Rockies were awarded a claim on Wandy Rodriguez, or that the Giants were reportedly awarded a claim on Heath Bell?

Possibly. Or it could turn out meaning absolutely nothing.

Here's an attempt to explain to make a strange and complicated process a little simpler:

1. After 4 p.m. ET on July 31, players can't be traded without waivers until after the end of the season.

2. During August, teams routinely place nearly every player on waivers. Some they'd love to trade. Some they wouldn't trade under any circumstances. Sometimes they want to gauge interest. Sometimes they put players they're obviously not going to trade (Crawford, for example) on the wire to disguise which players they don't want to see get claimed. Sometimes they want a player to clear, sometimes they'd rather he get claimed.

3. If no team claims a player, he is said to have cleared waivers and then can be traded without restriction.

4. If one team claims a player, the team that put the players on waivers has three options. It can work out a deal with the claiming team, or simply allow the claim to go through, or pull the player back off waivers. If he is pulled back, he is basically untradeable for the rest of the season. Teams sometimes allow claims to go through because they want to be rid of the contract, as happened when the White Sox got Alex Rios from the White Sox.

5. If multiple teams put in a claim, the claim is awarded to the team that was lowest in the standings on the day the player went on waivers. If the teams have the same record, then the tie-breaker is which team finished lower in the standings last year. Then the process is the same as above, with the team having three options.

6. Teams sometimes put in claims in an effort to "block" players from going to teams ahead of them in the standings. The risk is that the claim can go through and the team ends up with the player. But sometimes that even works out, as it did when the Giants "blocked" Cody Ross from going to the Padres last year.

7. The process is theoretically secret, with massive fines threatened for revealing any information. That's why no one is ever quoted on the record until a deal is done, and also why information leaks out in bits and pieces, if at all.

According to sources, the Rockies were awarded the claim on Rodriguez, and the teams have until 1 p.m. Thursday to work out a deal. But as of Wednesday night, it appeared those talks were basically dead, because the Astros put a considerably higher value on Rodriguez than the Rockies do (and weren't simply interested in dumping his large contract).

Also, according to sources, the Giants were awarded the claim on Bell. Those teams have until 1 p.m. Friday to work out a deal, and just as with Rodriguez, sources were suggesting that a deal is unlikely.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reported that the Yankees were awarded a claim on Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena. Those teams also have until 1 p.m. Friday to work out a deal.

Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:33 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 3:34 pm

Can the White Sox get a July 31 do-over?

Imagine if the trade deadline were this Sunday, instead of last Sunday.

Imagine if the White Sox were deciding this week, instead of last week, whether to blow up their team and turn into outright sellers.

You think the decision might have been different?

I sure do.

Remember where general manager Kenny Williams was headed, before the Sox won two of three games from the Tigers last week. According to sources, White Sox players believed that if they lost two of three or got swept by the Tigers, Williams would begin an all-out sale that could have included John Danks, Gavin Floyd and even Paul Konerko (who could have blocked a deal with his 10-5 rights).

Imagine how valuable Danks and Floyd would have been in a market short on impact starting pitchers. You'd better believe that the Yankees, among other teams, would have been asking.

Instead, the White Sox won two of three from the Tigers, and Williams held onto his players. He traded Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen, and explored deals for Carlos Quentin, but perhaps against his better instincts, he held onto the core of his team.

And look what has happened.

The White Sox have lost five straight. They've looked absolutely overmatched in the first three games of a four-game series with the Yankees.

And heading into play Thursday, they were 6 1/2 games out. The computers at Cool Standings gave them less than a 10 percent chance at winning the division.

Worse than that, your own eyes tell you they would have just as slim a chance of winning in the playoffs, if they could even get there. The five-game losing streak has come at home, against the Red Sox and Yankees.

That's exactly what some White Sox officials were thinking last week. The more White Sox people you talked to, the more you realized that they didn't like their team, and didn't see this group winning a World Series.

But they were just three games out of first place.

Now they're not, but now the non-waiver deadline has passed. It's very unlikely that Quentin, Danks or Floyd could get through waivers that would be needed for a trade between now and the end of the season.

So what happens now?

Maybe the White Sox make another run at the Tigers, helped by a schedule that gets easier for the rest of the month (the Sox play the Orioles and Royals next week). Maybe Williams looks to deal some players who could get through waivers.

And maybe now he blows up the team this winter.

Imagine if he could do it this week.

Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:44 pm

White Sox: All-in or white flag?

As of this very moment, the White Sox are going for it.

By the end of the week, who knows?

The Wednesday trade that sent Edwin Jackson to Toronto (and then on to St. Louis) fit the White Sox either way, as buyers or sellers. They unloaded Jackson, a free-agent-to-be who wasn't going to be re-signed, but added Jason Frasor, providing needed help for the overworked Jesse Crain on the right side of their bullpen, and got a top pitching prospect in Zach Stewart, as well.

The bigger question is what happens next, and the answer, according to multiple sources familiar with the White Sox plans, is that we'll have to wait and see.

One scenario: The Sox decide that they're too far behind the Tigers (4 1/2 games entering play Wednesday), or that this team is not going to win in October, anyway. In that case, the Sox try to turn over their roster, making players such as John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Carlos Quentin available in advance of Sunday's non-waiver deadline.

The other scenario: The Sox decide that this division is too winnable for them to give up now, and that this is still basically the same team that they thought could win when the season began. In that case, the Sox keep their team together, and go for it.

Jackson was expendable, because the development of Phil Humber gave the White Sox a six-man rotation. Mark Teahen, the other player traded to Toronto, was even more expendable.

This wasn't a white flag trade. The others would be, and the question the White Sox must ask in the next few days is whether it's time to raise it.

There's no doubt that the White Sox are frustrated with what has been the most disappointing team in the game in the first half of the season. There's no doubt that they're starting to question whether this group has what it takes to win.

There's also no doubt that they realize they're in a weak division, and that their starting pitching could still make them an October threat.

The White Sox are playing the first-place Tigers again on Wednesday afternoon. They play the Red Sox at home this weekend while the Tigers host the Angels (remember, the White Sox swept the Red Sox at Fenway at the end of May).

By Sunday, the White Sox could be a virtual tie with the Tigers for first place. Or they could be as many as nine games out.

That's why by Sunday, Danks, Floyd and Quentin could join Jackson on the way out the door. Or they could be going for it in Chicago.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com