When I wrote these words, "The signings to avoid arbitration have been coming fast and furious the last few days, and that's likely to continue for a few more days.." this morning I had no clue how prescient that would be.
That's because I somehow forgot that today is the deadline for such deals without actually going through the ugly process of exchanging arbitration figures. It's not yet 3pm here in the Central and already we've had nine signings. I wrote about the first six here. By my count there are seven players remaining who've yet to sign deals, four of whom are on the Twins. It would appear that the White Sox, and Tigers have completed their deals, and the Royals have only to Billy Butler remaining on their to-do list.
- The White Sox have announced signings for both John Danks, and Carlos Quentin.
Danks is coming off yet another impressive season, posting a 3.72 ERA in 213 innings. That's a good year for anyone, much less a pitcher who calls the launching pad that is US Cellular Field home. It's third year in a row that Danks has thrown at least 195 innings with an ERA below 3.80. That Danks has managed to accomplish so much at just 25 years old is incredible.
Acquired in an off season swap with the Rangers following the 2006 season that was highlighted by Danks of the Rangers and Brandon McCarthy of the White Sox, it would be the White Sox who won out big. In return for Danks, the Rangers got McCarthy who would go on to post a 4.56 ERA over parts of three seasons while bouncing between the Majors and AAA.
Danks of course has gone on to far bigger and better things. This was Danks second year of arbitration and barring injury or unforeseen regression, he's going to get a ton in arbitration in 2012. I'm sure the White Sox would prefer to get him extended before that, and certainly before he gets anywhere near testing free agency as a 27 year old lefty with an amazing track record.
Danks isn't far from turning himself into an ace caliber pitcher, but as is, he's a guy who will chew up tons of innings with a very good ERA. He has solid control, strikes out a few more than average, and gets a good amount of ground balls. He's done nothing to suggest a change is forthcoming and should continue spit out 6-7 quality innings every fifth day.
- If Danks is the rarest of finds, a left-handed rock in the rotation, then Carlos Quentin is a man with something to prove. We've all seen what Quentin is capable of, his 2008 season was massive. He posted a .965 OPS, a .414 wOBA - or for those not saber-inclined - dude hit .283 with 36 bombs. He was one of the 10 best hitters in all of baseball that year.
Unfortunately in the two years that have followed, Quentin has struggled with injuries and it's effected his production. In 2009 his production slipped to a .237 average and 21 home runs for a .779 OPS before rebounding somewhat to .243 with 26 home runs and a .821 OPS.
I'm not certain how much injuries have actually effected Quentin, while his OPS marks are down, he remains fundamentally the same hitter - high strikeouts, low walks, low line drive rate, very high fly ball rate... The one thing that really stands out is that Quentin is the owner of one of the lowest career BABIP marks of any hitter I've ever seen. His .251 career mark is stunning low, at least partially a by-product of the low line drive and high fly ball rates.