We all have heard the rumors. We all know the Yankees are looking for some starting pitching depth and help. One new name that has come around as a possible candidate is Chicago White Sox’ hurler John Danks. This is about as good of an idea as giving Shia LeBauf tickets to see your play. Let’s examine why.
First of all, the contract. He’s got $14.25 mill per year over the next two years AFTER this one. This for a guy who hasn’t pitched more than 138 innings in a season since 2011. The Yankees problem with their rotation is the fact that they have had a lot of injuries to it between CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda. Why would they want to add another injury-prone pitcher to their rotation at the cost of maybe a halfway decent prospect who’s owed a ton of money?
Secondly, it’s his style of pitching. Usually he’s a ground-ball kind of pitcher. Not this year. Per Fangraphs, Danks has a 43.3% fly ball rater, compared to just a 38.6% ground ball rate. For his career it’s 42 to 39 ground ball. Do you really want a pitcher who’s giving up a lot of fly balls as a part of a staff at Yankee Stadium? That’s just a recipe for a lot of balls to go over the 314 ft. sign in right field.
Third of all, he can’t strike anyone out and doesn’t throw hard. Danks has only struck out 63 in 93.1 innings so far this year. His fastball averages 87.9 MPH, his cutter at 83.2. Unless you’re Andy Pettitte, you can’t really get away with that, and pitch in the Bronx. In those 93 innings, he’s given up 91 hits.
John Danks isn’t a good fit for the Yankees. I know fans are sick of seeing Vidal Nuno pitch, last night not withstanding. However, if you acquire Danks, he’ll be basically a much MUCH more expensive version of Nuno. The Yankees need to look elsewhere if they are going to get a pitcher.