CLEVELAND -- John Danks’ clubhouse stall at Progressive Field is almost directly in between Jake Peavy’s and the one formerly occupied by Jesse Crain.
Monday’s White Sox starting pitcher is right in the middle of two of the biggest storylines the team has on the trade market, as Crain was peddled to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday and Peavy could follow shortly.
[More: White Sox deal Crain to Rays]
While he doesn’t know where his friends may end up, Danks knows one thing for certain: it’s not fun to be in the position of him or his teammates right now.
The White Sox lost 3-2 to the Cleveland Indians on Monday night on Jason Giambi’s ninth-inning, pinch-hit solo home run and fell 23 games below the .500 mark.
“It’s hard to watch,” said Danks, who allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings. “Jesse and I have become good buddies and obviously Jake and I have a real good relationship. Me personally, I’d love to keep (Peavy).”
There was little surprise in the clubhouse to the news Crain is headed to the Rays in exchange for players to be named later and/or cash.
After Matt Thornton was traded to the Boston Red Sox 17 days earlier, all bets were off.
Anyone and everyone could be had, it seemed.
Starting pitcher Hector Santiago said the only surprise surrounding Crain, a first-time All-Star who carries a 0.74 ERA, is the timing.
Crain has been on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain since July 3.
“We knew it was going to happen,” Santiago said. “We were talking about it today: was it going to happen or was (Crain) going to go through waivers? It’s definitely going to be tough. Me, Jesse and Thornton got real close the year-and-a-half we were together. He’s going to be missed for sure. Great guy in the clubhouse and Matty the same thing. They were awesome with us. They kind of showed us the ropes.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura knew his team’s poor play -- he called the White Sox early defensive miscues on Monday “atrocious” -- would lead to moments like these. All along, Ventura has said he hopes the White Sox retain as many of their current players as possible and Crain is no exception.
“I have nothing but good things to say,” Ventura said. “He was a great person for me to have on the team. He was a good teammate, great competitor, worked hard and was always there for everybody. Those are always tough things where you have a guy like he is first as a person and does the things he does on the field. That’s tough to replace.”
Adam Dunn backed his manager’s assertion.
The slugger thinks Crain’s performance will be as difficult to replace as anything. Earlier this season, Crain established a franchise record when he pitched in 29 straight scoreless games over 29 straight scoreless innings.
“He was the best reliever in baseball,” Dunn said. “We knew when he came in, a good chance if we had the lead we were going to keep it and he’s one of the best. Look at the numbers.”
Danks sees fewer friends around and knows he could lose another by Wednesday. He gets why the White Sox have made the moves they have but it doesn’t make it any easier.
“I understand the business, understand that things have to happen and we’ll see what happens,” Danks said.