Thursday, January 14, 2010

What is Ben Sheets Worth?

Warning: opinion and reckless speculation follows, not seriously nerdy statistical analysis...

So Ben Sheets apparently is throwing for teams next week. You have to believe the M's will be there, and you have to believe that Jack Z has already spent a good deal of time on the horn with those who represent Sheets.

I don't have any clue how much the M's have left to spend, but what I do know is I don't like having some combination of Snell/Olson/Vargas/Fister/Petit/French/some-dummy rounding out our last two slots in the starting staff.

Ben Sheets hasn't pitched since 2008. His WAR, starting in 2002 through 2008: 3.8, 3.7, 8.0, 3.7, 4.0, 2.2, 4.4. That's pretty darn good. Ben Sheets had his elbow explode after 2008. That's scary.

His value is really tied to how healthy you think the guy will be - because when he's healthy, he's awesome and when he's not, well, you get to pitch Luke French or some-dummy. If you think he'll really hold up for 180 innings, he's probably a 4+ WAR guy, which makes his demand for $12 million bucks pretty fair.

But if you think he's going to be in and out of the rotation with a variety of ailments, give you about 130 Ben-Sheets-quality-innings, then he's probably something in the arena of a 2.5 WAR pitcher, in which case $9 million is probably about as high as anyone should go.

And then there's the whole possibility that he pulls a 2004 out of his ass and is just ridiculously good (10.03 K/9 rate and a 2.65 FIP. Yowsa.).

Jack Z knows and probably loves Ben Sheets. He could really make this rotation feared, and has the potential to push the scales of the AL West heavily into the M's favor.

I don't think the M's have the cash to get him, but I really would love to see him manning that "third #1 starter" slot in the rotation. Felix, Lee, Sheets? Hoo-boy...


Anonymous said...

Angels fans would shit their pants.

Michael said...

I'd shit my pants!