Interesting little development if you happened to watch Baseball Tonight last night. Apparently Steve Phillips is now stating that he expects Ben Sheets WILL accept the Brewers offer of arbitration and lock him in to the team for 1 more year. Click here and then go the right side of the screen and click on the "NL Central Hot Stove" for the video clip of it.
This is in contradiction to basically every other report that's been out there so far, and also would appear on the surface to be not reasonable for Sheets. Plus, didn't Sheets himself state that he had "other" offers?
Granted this is a report by Steve Phillips (who's a donkey), but since he reported it you've got to take it for what it's worth.
From both sides' point of view, it actually doesn't appear to be a bad play. Sheets will probably end up getting around $14-15M for a 1 year deal with the Crew. The Crew gets their "ace" pitcher (the 1 glaring need this offseason) at a "reasonable" price with low risk because of the 1-year deal.
Sheets gets paid his money ($15M)...and if he plays through a relatively injury free year he can get his 3-4 year deal next year somewhere else. The JS article I linked above states his agent thinks a 2 year deal is out there somewhere for him, but doesn't mention price. What if the 2 year deals were only in the 20-22M range? There's some price-risk analysis that Sheets is playing there. Does he accept the $22M guaranteed now or does he wait 1 more year with $15M guaranteed and hope to have a big year and score something bigger after next year? Fascinating stuff.
Two other things to note (somewhat speculative):
-There has been no talk of the actual teams in the mix here with these 2 year offers. Hell...what if it's like...the Nationals and Rockies or something? Sheets can stay for 1 more year for good money AND the Brewers are a contender again. That's got to factor into his decision somewhat. Sheets got a taste of success last year and wasn't able to be a part of the playoffs. That's got to eat him up a little.
-Maybe the market for pitchers outside of CC just isn't a big as was once thought. You know...economy and all. Sheets probably thought he was going to break the bank with a decent 4 year deal but maybe the GM's have wised up when it comes to giving big bucks to questionable pitchers. Maybe it's just not going to happen for Sheets this particular offseason.
You know what. I'm sold. I'll back this. We get Sheets for 1 year. We maintain depth in the starting rotation ranks with McClung as the 6th man. Our primary need is solved for one more year and we get another year to see what Jeffress can do most likely at Triple A. It's also fiscally responsible long-term.
Thanks to the Great One for the tip.