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Thursday, December 15, 2011
Trade talk: John Danks

By Richard Durrett

John Danks
John Danks has a track record of success against the AL West.
We continue our offseason look at possible trade targets or free agents still on the market that might interest the Rangers. One player they have some interest in is pitcher John Danks. So let's take a quick look at him.

Danks, 26 (and an Austin native), was hampered a bit in 2011 by a strained right oblique muscle. He was 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA last season with 135 strikeouts and 46 walks in 170 1/3 innings. That included two complete games.

In the three previous seasons, Danks steadily increased his win total with 12 in 2008, 13 in 2009 and 15 in 2010 with ERAs all under 3.80. He had a .237 opponent batting average in 2010, which was 11th best in the AL.

Why he makes sense: The club knows him, having drafted him ninth overall in 2003. He's a left-handed pitcher and is 15-13 with a 2.97 ERA against the AL West in his career. It drops to 2.75 when you take out the Rangers. He has three solid seasons under his belt (even before last year) and pitched at least 195 innings from 2008 to 2010.

Why he might not make sense: The question the Rangers have to ask is whether a pitcher they are acquiring is significantly better than what they have now. Does Danks fall into that category? He's got more of a track record than the four youngters on the staff, but several of them are in the same spot that Danks was a few years ago. Texas might prefer to see how the young staff does rather than replace one of them with Danks. Also, Danks is arbitration-eligible this season and then becomes a free agent, so he's not someone that is under club control for a while.