Gavin Floyd may have seen his future with the Chicago White Sox become a bit more uncertain since Wednesday. On Wednesday, the White Sox handed John Danks a five-year, $65 million extension. In all likelihood, the extension takes Danks off the trade market. Meanwhile, Floyd has likely become a more sought after piece for teams seeking a starting pitcher.
Danks had been a frequently mentioned name in trade talks. Kenny Williams had discussed with New York Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman a deal that would have sent Danks to the Yankees for a package of prospects including Manny Banuelos, although, as ESPN New York reported, the two sides weren't close to a deal.
Teams that had pursued Danks may now become interested in Floyd. That may become more true since Oakland Athletics pitcher Gio Gonzalez was traded to the Washington Nationals on Thursday. WEEI-AM 850 reported that the Red Sox were involved in trade talks for Gonzalez.
The aforementioned article implies that Floyd may be a significant possibility for the Red Sox. Wandy Rodriguez and Jair Jurrjens are available, but the Red Sox are said to be concerned about Jurrjens' health and may be wary about Rodriguez's cost.
Jeff Nieman and Wade Davis are out there, but an American League executive told WEEI that the Red Sox and Rays wouldn't make a deal.
Floyd seems like he would be much more attractive to the Red Sox than Rodriguez. Floyd has one year for $7 million left on his contract (with a $9.5 million option for 2013), whereas Rodriguez has two years and $23 million left (with a $13 million option for 2014). Floyd had a slightly higher wins above replacement than Rodriguez in 2011: 2.8 to 2.7.
Floyd's earned run average was .88 higher than Rodriguez's, but pitched 2.2 more innings and walked 24 fewer batters. Floyd is about four years younger than Rodriguez.
Williams may be pressed to cut salary by trading Floyd. While trading Floyd doesn't negate big contracts committed to underperforming players like Alex Rios ($12 million) and Jake Peavy ($17 million), it would bring the White Sox closer to where they need to be financially. The White Sox have $91 million committed to 12 players, and likely won't want to go much higher than $100 million.
Trading Floyd could make it possible for the White Sox to stay right around $100 million.
Losing Floyd leaves a bit of a hole in the starting rotation. Without him, the White Sox have Danks, Peavy (if he's healthy), Chris Sale (facing his first year as a starter), Phil Humber (who has one year as a starter under his belt) and either Zach Stewart or Dylan Axelrod in the rotation.
Williams might like to put whatever prospect he might acquire in the rotation. According to CBSSports.com, Williams wants to acquire a major-league ready prospect. Floyd could bring that type of player in a trade. Floyd has pitched more than 180 innings in each of the last four seasons.
While he has only posted an earned run average below 4.00 once, Floyd has three seasons with earned run average-plus figures (ERA adjusted for ballparks) better than 100. Also, he allowed 2.1 walks per nine innings in 2011.
Thus, Floyd could provide quality pitching to an interested party.
With Danks, Gonzalez, Mat Latos and Edison Volquez off the market, along with marquee free agents like C.J. Wilson and C.C. Sabathia, teams could simply be looking for a quality starter. Floyd could be that pitcher. Williams could open talks with teams willing to give the White Sox a good prospect for Floyd. The White Sox rebuilding phase may soon see its next step.