Is Ben Sheets a bargain? I don't know, it's hard to predict the future. But the Yankees should consider signing the former Olympian if he is still available before spring training starts.
Sheets is a Type-A Free Agent. He is a four-time All-Star and was once a starter in one of the All-Star game.
Before he got injured, Sheets finished the 2008 season with 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 starts and 198 1/3 innings pitched. He went to 3-0 on only 2% of all batters he faced in the season, the lowest percentage in the majors. He also threw curve balls 33% of the time, more than any other starter in the major leagues.
Sheets works with a fastball that can reach the upper-90's, he keeps hitters off-balance by mixing in a hard breaking curve. He has tremendous control and can work inside. He is considered an Ace starter when healthy.
But health issues had always been a problem for Ben Sheets throughout his career. Sheets ended the 2008 season with a flexor tendon injury that prevented him from pitching in the playoffs. He has been on the disabled list five times in the past four years.
With Sheet's wealth of injury and durability issues, his value has went down. Now teams are considering of signing Sheets to more of an "incentive laden" type of contract. Sheets will get incentives for the number of innings pitched for the coming 2010 season. If he gets injured he gets nothing. Practically it is considerate to offer Sheets a 1 year contract with a basic salary ranging from $ 4-5 million plus incentive base on his performance and number of games played.
With Chien-Ming Wang being a free agent and might be going for a different team next season, the Yankees might give a look at Ben Sheets. If Sheets agrees to a 1 year low basic salary contract (with incentives), the Yankees might sign him. And if he turns healthy for next season then we could say that we got Sheets as a bargain. He is just 31 years old and is capable of shutting out games.
So far it's the New York Mets and Texas Rangers have expressed interest in signing Sheets. The Yankees however are being patient and waiting for Sheets to fall on their lap. If that's the case then the Yankees will have the former Olympian pitcher to complete the back-end of their starting rotation. It's a gamble I know.... but every time you gamble their is chance for you to hit the jackpot.
Posted On Monday, December 14, 2009 at at 5:24 AM by Francis Isberto