It seems like a consensus has formed that the White Sox will trade either John Danks or Gavin Floyd this winter.
For whatever reason, Danks and Floyd have had their named on the chopping block already. Both are due for raises, which doesn't help each player's respective cause.
Even if the Sox can't work out an extension with Danks this offseason, it's unlikely they deal him, unless the Danks camp breaks off negotiations early, like in January. If the Sox feel they can get more in return for one year of Danks than they would with the draft picks they'd get by letting him walk, then sure, they'll look to deal him. But that's also pretty unlikely.
So that leaves Floyd, who is under team control through 2013. He's set to make $7 million in 2012 and $9.5 million in 2013 if his option is picked up -- which, at that price, should be a no-brainer.
From 2009-2011, Floyd has been worth 12 fWAR, more than Josh Beckett, Yovani Gallardo, David Price, Mark Buehrle and Danks. And yet, he's a guy who's been called a wimp while being gawked at for an ERA above 4 in each of the last three seasons.
So here lies the problem with Floyd. Is he one of those Javier Vazquez-type pitchers who inherently has a better FIP than ERA? Or, in other words, is he someone who will always pitch better than his results indicate?
Over the last three years, Floyd has a 4.15 ERA. Not spectacular. The closest ERA comparison to Floyd is Bronson Arroyo, who has a 4.17 ERA in that same span.
But Floyd has a 3.65 FIP from 2009-present, which is good. His comps in that area are Price (3.62) and Shaun Marcum (3.67).
If we step away from FIP, there's a clearer picture of Floyd here. His ERA+ in the last three seasons is 106, squarely above-average. Baseball-Reference has his WAR in the last three years as 9.0, which sounds a lot more accurate.
Still, that's a number worth keeping Floyd around for.
Over the last three years, 9 WAR has been worth just over $37 million. If we pencil Floyd in for 6 WAR over the next two seasons, he'll be worth about $24 million (without inflation/market adjustments, so that number may not be completely accurate). Floyd is owed $16.5 million over the next two years.
For a team that has a bunch of surplus-value black holes, $7.5 million in added value is nice. It's not great, but it's certainly good enough to justify keeping Floyd on the Sox.
Plus, if the Sox were to put Floyd on the trading block, chances are he'd be hugely undervalued. Remember that Bronson Arroyo-like ERA? That'd work against him. Remember his reputation of being soft? That'd work against him.
His last winning season was 2008, although he's 12-10 in 2011. That he hasn't thrown 200 innings in a season since '08 would work against him, although that's 500 percent more legitimate than citing his W-L total.
That the Sox were rumored last winter to be interested in Ian Stewart as a possible return for Floyd only confirms how he's viewed by the rest of baseball. Ian Stewart would've been a horrible return for Floyd -- thankfully, there didn't appear to be much behind that rumor.
But what would happen if Floyd goes on the block is one of two things. First, teams that undervalue Floyd would come at the Sox with terrible offers. The second is teams that have better valuations of Floyd (probably Tampa Bay) would come at the Sox with terrible offers, knowing the Sox probably won't do any better.
So if the Sox trade Floyd, it won't be for much. And that's why he should stay put in Chicago for at least the next two seasons.