I got widely mocked for this idea. OK, I can take that.
This year, Danks has posted a 5-8 won/loss record, a 4.98 ERA and 1.464 WHIP in 17 starts. This isn't great. After recording 1.1 bWAR in 2014, he's in negative bWAR territory in 2015 (-0.6).
However, he's stayed healthy this year and after making 32 starts in 2014, he's on target to do the same in 2015.
So I'm bringing his name up again, and this time, maybe you'll agree with me.
Proposal: Offer Edwin Jackson to the White Sox for Danks. Straight contract swap: Jackson is owed (approximately) $5 million for the rest of this year, $11 million next year. Danks has (approximately) $6.5 million coming for the balance of 2015, and is owed $14.25 million in 2016. That's about $4.75 million extra the Cubs would have to assume over the life of the contract, something they could easily afford.
Why do this? The Cubs need a fifth starter. Currently, that position is occupied by Clayton Richard, who's had one good outing and one bad one since joining the Cubs. Danks, at least, has shown he can take the ball every fifth day. His numbers aren't bad for a fifth starter, and in his last start he threw six shutout innings against the Royals. He's about a year and a half younger than Jackson and would give the Cubs another lefthander in the rotation (granted, Richard is also lefthanded).
Jackson pitched for the White Sox in 2010 and 2011 and had some success there, posting a 3.66 ERA in 30 starts. The Sox aren't likely going anywhere this year. Jackson could at least hold down a rotation spot for them.
This might be a classic "change-of-scenery" deal where both players are helped by going to a new team. Neither one is doing very much in their current spot. Granted, this isn't a world-changer, but it's clear the Cubs have no interest in trying Jackson as a starter. Danks is stretched out and has thrown at least six innings in eight of his 17 starts.
All right, have at it. Would you do this?