John Danks agrees to 5-year extension

The Chicago White Sox and starting pitcher John Danks agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension worth $65 million, the team announced on Thursday.

"I've said I love Chicago and love the people with the White Sox," Danks said Thursday. "I want to win here. This was my first choice."

Danks will make $8 million in 2012 and $14.25 per season for the next four years. ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine reported the deal on Dec. 21.

"We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to sign John, and I think John proved by his actions that he likes Chicago and likes the organization and wants to be part of something that translates to a winner," White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said.

By agreeing to terms with Danks, the White Sox avoided an arbitration hearing that would have likely cost the team between $9 million and $10 million in 2012. This coming season was slated to be Danks' last of arbitration. He would have been a free agent following the 2012 season.

Danks, who will be 27 on April 15, has a 54-56 lifetime record and a 4.03 ERA.

The Texas native is coming off an underwhelming 2011 season. He went 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA. Danks' career strikeout-to-walk ratio is 3:1, considered an outstanding number.

"To be totally honest, I didn't come off the best year, and I didn't expect this but at the time [of the struggles] I wasn't worried about any kind of contract status," Danks said. "I was more frustrated and trying to right the ship."

Prior to the agreement, the White Sox had been shopping Danks on the trade market. After losing Mark Buehrle, a mainstay in the team's starting rotation, to the Miami Marlins in free agency, Danks was the only quality left-handed starter remaining in the organization.

"You hear a lot of stuff and my mom makes sure to stay up to date on that stuff, but I was working out and getting ready to pitch this year with the White Sox," Danks said. "There was a lot of talk, and you can't help but wonder and think but I felt that until something happens I'm with the White Sox. Then this came around, and I couldn't be happier."

Information from ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine and Doug Padilla was used in this report.