So... what if the Cubs don't sign Jon Lester? And what if they fail to land any of the mid-range guys available such as Brandon McCarthy or Jason Hammel?
They'll still be looking to upgrade their rotation. John Danks of the White Sox might be an attractive trade target.
After spending most of 2012 and 2013 injured, Danks completed an injury-free season in 2014, making 32 starts and throwing 193⅔ innings. Granted, the results were not pretty: a 4.74 ERA, 1.441 WHIP and 1.1 bWAR. Before Danks was injured he put up three straight years of 5+ bWAR from 2008 through 2010.
Danks finished the year strong with a 2.16 ERA in his final four starts, three of which were against contending teams (the Royals and Athletics). In those four starts he posted a 1.04 WHIP and allowed just one home run in 25 innings, and was the last pitcher to defeat the Royals until the Giants beat them in Game 1 of the World Series.
Danks is owed $28.5 million over the next two years, which is perhaps an argument against acquiring him. On the other hand, you'd think the White Sox might be anxious enough to get out from under that contract that it wouldn't take too much in terms of prospects to acquire him.
He seems to me just the kind of pitcher that Chris Bosio would work well with, and he'd add another lefthander to the rotation. He turns 30 in April, and his contract has just those two years remaining, so if he's not any good you're not tied to him for a long period of time.
What do you think? Vote in the poll and weigh in your thoughts in the comments.