White Sox lock up Danks for his prime

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White Sox lock up Danks for his prime

It turns out that Derrick Rose isnt the only Chicago athlete to get a new extension on Wednesday.

Sources close to the situation have confirmed to Comcast SportsNet that John Danks has agreed on a multi-year deal with the White Sox, putting to rest the swarm of rumors that the White Sox were going to deal Danks before the start of the 2012 season.

A team source said Wednesday night, We have no announcements scheduled at this time. Expect it to become official soon after Christmas. Multiple reports have the deal at five years, 65 million.

Its a surprise move by the White Sox, not only because it conflicts with Kenny Williams assertion at the MLB Winter Meetings that the White Sox were in rebuilding mode, but at five years it would be the longest contract the White Sox have ever given to a pitcher. Since getting burned by the four-year, 20 million contract they gave Jaime Navarro in 1996, the team has been reluctant to sign pitchers to such long-term deals. Navarro proceeded to go 25-33 in three seasons with the White Sox before they traded him to Milwaukee in 2000 for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin.

There had been one exception to this: Mark Buehrle, who signed a four-year extension in 2007. Now theres a second.

As the news spread of the Danks deal, manager Robin Ventura was preparing for his special appearance in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre. When told of a possible contract extension, Ventura was certainly all for it.

It would be huge, Ventura said. Obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for John and what he brings as a talent, but just his intangibles that he brings everyday, and the competitiveness. Hes an important part of what youd like to have as a person in a locker room. With Mark Buehrle going, theres room for that person, and I think he kind of fits that.

Despite starting last season with an 0-8 record, Danks was able to turn it all around, going 4-0 in June and July with a 0.98 ERA. He finished 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA.

Danks was set to be a free agent after this season. Now at the age of 26 (he turns 27 on April 15), hes locked up by the White Sox during what could be the prime of his career.

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