Ben Sheets Could Be A Steal

An article by posted on January 5, 2009

The following comment was recently left by Drew:

Ben Sheets would be a STEAL at $22M/2. If he’s willing to take it, give it to him, but I think tossing the offer we’ve got to Lowe right now to Sheets is still a bargain and possibly something he’d sign for.

To get Ben Sheets for a 3rd year is a bonus, not a punishment. So maybe throw something like a 24/2 with a club option for a 3rd at 15 at him, and then offer Ollie the same deal we’re offering Lowe now (36/3). Sheets isn’t going to want to sign on to be a #2 at the same price we sign our #3/4 for.

Essentially, my proposal is paying Sheets 39/3 and Ollie 36/3, and locking in a GREAT #2 in Sheets and a GREAT #4 in Ollie for 3 years apiece. This would mean that we’d have all of our top pitchers signed through at least 2011 (Johan longer).

I’d have the rotation more like:

1) Santana (L)
2) Sheets (R)
3) Perez (L)
4) Pelfrey (R)
5) Maine (R)
X) Niese (L)

Though I’d say Pelf and Ollie would be interchangeable. Don’t forget that Maine is coming off an injury. Either way, Maine, Pelf, and Ollie all make GREAT #3 pitchers, and INCREDIBLE #4/5 pitchers. I’d be happy enough to have Sheets added to the rotation, but to add Sheets AND Perez would be like having a 2nd Christmas.

Great comment Drew!

Of course my one concern is that Sheets is an injury risk. He was in the midst of another great season in 2008 before going down with a muscle tear in his elbow.

When Sheets is healthy, he is one of the best pitchers in the game. For a little less money, I would role the dice on him. I don’t know that I would do 39/3 unless it had incentives for innings pitched tied into it.

Sheets has a career ERA of 3.72, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1,206/313 is mind boggling to say the least. Last season, he ranked fifth in the NL in ERA with a sterling 3.09, and pitched five complete games including three shutouts to lead the league. If you threw away his last three starts when he was hurt, his ERA was 2.87.

At just 29 years old, Sheets could be one of those great risk/reward type players. He will definitely sign with someone, should it be the Mets?

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