01/04/10 10:53 PM EST
Danks not sweating arbitration process
Left-hander one of four White Sox players eligible to file
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
John Danks stands as one of four White Sox players eligible for this process. But as of Monday, the left-handed hurler seems more concerned with Thursday's BCS championship football game between Alabama and Texas than the upcoming arbitration period.
"To be honest with you, I really am," the die-hard Longhorns' fan said with a laugh, speaking Monday night from his home in Texas. "I've really put a lot more thought into that game and talked more about it at this point."
Danks, 24, is arbitration eligible for the first time in his young career, along with White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin, closer Bobby Jenks and reliever Tony Pena. Danks is coming off his second straight solid season on the South Side of Chicago, setting career highs with 13 victories and 200 1/3 innings.
During an interview with MLB.com in early November, Danks expressed a desire to revisit a multiyear deal with the White Sox. It's a fixed-cost avenue the White Sox have traveled recently with fellow young talents such as starting pitcher Gavin Floyd (four years, $15.5 million, with a $9.5 million option for 2013) and third baseman Mark Teahen (three years, $14 million).
That same deal offered Floyd prior to last Spring Training was offered to Danks and Quentin, but both players turned it down. Danks talked to his representative, Jeff Berry, on Sunday "for the first time since a couple of weeks before Christmas," and said no new negotiations had taken place to his knowledge on a longer-term extension or even on a one-year deal. But the easygoing hurler doesn't seem worried about getting his contractual situation settled in the near future.
"Jeff said that hopefully he'll have something to tell me at the end of the week, but I'm not worried too much about that," Danks said. "The time will come, and I don't think this week is overly important.
"It's a new process for me, and I'm learning a lot about it. So, if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I'm not going to be the only person to take it to the hearing. We will get a better feel as we go further down the line.
"I actually told Jeff I'm more concerned about coming in and having a good year, and I'm just letting him do what he gets paid to do," Danks said. "I'm very comfortable with the White Sox, from Ozzie [Guillen] and Coop [pitching coach Don Cooper] to Kenny [Williams] and Jerry [Reinsdorf]. From Day One, I felt great and they make you feel comfortable.
"There is no animosity toward anyone. It's a great situation for me, and we will see how it plays out."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.