First of all I want to say I’m sorry for not being able to post the last couple of days. I didn’t feel well, and couldn’t focus because of my headache. Now it’s time to get back to baseball, though.
All of the free agent talk for starting pitchers seems to be about CC Sabathia, Derek Lowe, and AJ Burnett. What about Ben Sheets? I would definately have Sabathia or Lowe instead, because those players have a track record of being healthy, but Sheets seems like he might be a better bargain than Burnett.
River Ave. Blues wrote a nice article summing up how Sheets has been more durable and a better pitcher than Burnett throughout both players’ careers. Yet, for some reason, Burnett is looking for a 5 year, 80 million dollar deal while Sheets is hopeful to get 3 years. When you look at all of the stats, Sheets is just a better pitcher than Burnett, and he will cost less money. No one realizes that Burnett’s ERA was over 4.00 last year, while Sheets had one in the low 3.00s. That’s what matters most, right? The amount of runs they give up.
Maybe AJ has better stuff, heck, maybe he has the best stuff in the MLB, but Sheets is also up there. Sheets has better control, better results, and a better health record. (not a good one, but better than Burnett’s)
Despite all of this, there aren’t many good fits for Sheets yet many fits for Burnett. The Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Oriols, and Braves all have some serious interest in the free agent hurler. No one has expressed interest in Sheets, yet. I still love the Red Sox fit, because it just makes too much sense for them. They have the rotation depth to afford an injury to Sheets. In that case, they could just hand the ball to Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, or Justin Masterson.
The Brewers also make sense if Sheets cannot find a team willing to pay a lot for him. The Brew-Crew know him, and could afford him.
Overall, I think he will sign with the Red Sox while the Yankees sign Burnett. Sheets will get 3 years, 42 million; Burnett will get 5 years, 80 million. Both players will have similar production next year, and the Red Sox will look like geniuses while the Yankees look stupid. Kind of like last year.