Danks doesn't want this to be final season

White Sox lefty's 5-year, $65M deal expires after '16

Danks doesn't want this to be final season

CHICAGO -- John Danks wants to keep pitching after the 2016 season, when his five-year, $65 million deal with the White Sox comes to an end.

The affable southpaw also understands that he needs to perform effectively for teams to have interest in extending his career.

"I would say I'm more focused on this year, and my feeling is if I can put up a good year, then it won't be my last year," Danks said during SoxFest festivities at the Hilton Chicago. "So I don't want it to be my last year. I don't want to plant that seed or anything. I'm a realist and understand that teams have to want me and for a team to want me, I've got to be good."

Danks posted ERAs of 3.32, 3.77 and 3.72 from 2008-10, but he hasn't had an ERA below 4.33 since. He went through shoulder surgery in August '12, but understands pitch execution is the concern over health.

In fact, Danks finished the '15 season on an uptick with a 4.16 ERA over the final 97 1/3 innings. He made 30 starts for a fifth season, pitched at least 170 innings for a sixth season and is looking to build on that in '16.

"This is cool. This is living a dream. I certainly would like to play as long as I can," said the 30-year-old with the longest active White Sox tenure. "But at the same time, I understand there's definitely going to be a last day, a last year, and hopefully it's not this year."

Todd Frazier quite possibly could be the most impactful offseason addition made by any team, considering the White Sox struggles finding a consistent third baseman since Joe Crede. However, general manager Rick Hahn pointed out that Frazier won't be a one-man turnaround on offense and has a presence going beyond his power with the bat.

Frazier on walk-up song

"We think he's a pretty important cog, and the fact of the matter is given where third base is around the game, he was probably the No. 1 target as we entered the offseason," Hahn said. "We like the presence in the middle of the order. We think that's going to help not just having more runs scored because of who he is as a player, but it's going to have a ripple effect on the guys around him."

"I expect a lot of myself and I set my goals high and my standards high," Frazier said. "Hopefully I can reach those because then that means we're doing something real good."

• There was no recruiting pitch made by Jose Abreu to Yoenis Cespedes during the White Sox pursuit of the free-agent outfielder. The native Cubans know each other and have a healthy dose of mutual respect, but as Hahn alluded to during SoxFest, it appeared Cespedes always had a strong desire to stay with the Mets.

"The most important thing is that he got the contract that he wanted," said Abreu, through White Sox interpreter Billy Russo. "I'm happy for him."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.