Danks For Nuthin'

Adios, John Danks, we hardly knew ya. No, seriously. We don't even know if this is a picture of John Danks. We're just taking a shot in the dark here.

I'd swear during baseball's winter meetings earlier this month I heard Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels say something to the effect of, "Blah, blah, blah and blah...and we'll do it without trading any of our top young prospects." Next thing I know the Rangers trick up Christmas by trading away their No. 1 young pitching prospect, John Danks, in return for the Chicago White Sox's No. 1 young pitching prospect, Brandon McCarthy. As most trades of this nature, here in Texas we're lamenting the loss of pitching potential, while up in Chicago, they're, um, lamenting the loss of pitching potential.

We're still cringing from last winter's deal that sent Chris Young to the San Diego Padres for Adam Eaton. How'd that work out?

Again, it's more than a little frustrating to see the Rangers draft Danks with their top draft pick in 2003, nurture him along slowly through the minors and, just like that, send him packing as a 21-year-old leftie oozing talent. All that salivating and waiting and preparing and salivating and, in the end, nothing.

Danks leaves Texas without ever throwing a pitch in a Rangers uniform.

Nothing against McCarthy, who looks and throws like Danks, only a year older and with a smidge of major league experience. As the Yankees and Mets are now in the hunt for Barry Zito -- slicing the Rangers to a long-shot -- Texas' pitching in '07 looks like a rotation of Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Brandon McCarthy, Robinson Tejada and either John Koronka or, one hopes, Edinson Volquez, with games set up by Akinori Otsuka and closed by Eric Gagne. Add Zito to that mix, and it might be the best staff in Rangers' history. Without him, let the Danks second-guessing begin. --Richie Whitt