MLB Trade Rumors: Should the New York Yankees Trade for John Danks?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IDecember 12, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 18:   Starting pitcher John Danks #50 of the Chicago White Sox throws in the second inning during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Here we are in the middle of December and little has changed for the Yankees since the offseason began.

Their 2012 roster is very similar to the one they had for 2011 and they have yet to sign any new free agents or make a trade for any players.

We know Yankees GM Brian Cashman wants to add starting pitching, but has been reluctant to deal any of his top prospects for the starters on the market.

According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated and WFAN, the Yankees might be changing their minds on their stance of their prized prospects.

Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams has asked the Yankees for two of their top three prospects; pitchers Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances or catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero.

While originally the Yankees were not interested, according to Heyman, the Yankees are now willing to relinquish only one of them in a package deal to acquire left-handed starter John Danks.

Danks was 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA in 27 starts for Chicago last season, which was an obvious down year considering he went 15-11 with a 3.72 ERA the season before.

The 26-year-old starter has been one of the names discussed as a possible trade target this winter, mostly because he has one more year left on his contract before he hits free agency in the winter of 2012-2013.

Danks will only make $6 million in 2012, so taking on his contract would essentially be pennies for the Yankees.

But the question now becomes, should the Yankees pull the trigger on a deal for Danks?

For me, I'm very skeptical on it.

When I hear the name John Danks as a trade target, it doesn't jump out at me as a guy I have to have like Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum or Clayton Kershaw. Those are guys I would have to have in a trade.

Not even Gio Gonzalez. He's a good, young pitcher. But I'm not drooling over the Oakland lefty.

And I'm not drooling over Danks, either.

Maybe it's because I don't feel Danks is worth any of Montero, Banuelos or Betances in a deal.

We all saw what Montero can do with a bat. We all expect great things from him. If I am dealing his type of bat, I want an ACE-PITCHER in return, not some No. 3 pitcher, at best.

And the same goes for our prospects, Banuelos and Betances. We saw what Banuelos did in spring training back in March. We saw briefly the potential of Betances in September against the Tampa Bay Rays.

You either get an ace-like pitcher or a quality bat in return for these guys.

Now, if they were discussing Hector Noesi, Adam Warren or David Phelps, then I'd actually say yes, trade for Danks.

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 23:  Starting pitcher John Danks #50 of the Chicago White Sox delivers during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at U. S. Cellular Field on September 24, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.   (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Plus, is it really wise to trade a top prospect for a guy who only has one year left on his contract? If the Yankees really want this guy, wait until he hits free agency.

Of course, the whole Cliff Lee situation could happen where the Yankees did wait for free agency last winter and got spurned by Lee when he returned to the Phillies for less guaranteed years and money in a contract.

But Danks is not Lee. He is nowhere near the level of pitcher that Lee is.

Now, I know I've been very vocal about the Yankees needing to do something. Because, well, they do need to add pitching.

But is Danks really the guy they need to go after?

For Banuelos, Betances or Montero? No.

But for a lesser package and quality of prospects, then yes.

Hopefully, Cashman feels the same way and ends up not dealing one of those three in a deal for Danks.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.