Monday, January 26, 2009
You know, for all the Cubbie faithful fretting about destroying the farm system to get Jake Peavy, no one seems to realize Ben Sheets is available. Not only is he available as a Free Agent (read: only money), but he also would come much cheaper than he should - a great risk/reward pickup for any owner. Currently, the only team that seems to be talking to Sheets is the Texas Rangers, and even the Rangers are looking for a lowball deal. Incentive-based, sure, but cheap is cheap.
In comparing the stats of Peavy and Sheets, Peavy is marginally better in terms of overall performance, and has a much healthier past. Assuming that the Cubs will grind whichever pitcher they get into the dirt (because, hey, that's what the Cubs do), Sheets seems the more cost-effective choice.
Sheets, over the past five seasons, has an ERA of 3.24 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5-to-1. Absolutely filthy. At the same time, the past five years have six trips to the DL. At the beginning of September, Sheets had a 13-7 record with a 2.82 ERA. Then, unfortunately (but expected), Sheets got hurt. He got shelled after trying to come back too soon, and ballooned his ERA to 3.09 on the season (still nothing to complain about!). To contrast, Peavy (who stayed healthy) went 10-11 with an 2.85 ERA.
Comparing their best "realized potential" in starting by taking their two best years (note: a little tipped in Sheets' favor, but the injuries don't give a huge sample size), it's pretty similar in terms of what both of them can do:
Sheets' best year: 2004. 12-14 with a 2.70 ERA, 264 K's and 0.983 (!) WHIP .
Peavy's best year: 2007 (arguable). 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA, 240 K's, and 1.061 WHIP.
For Tom Ricketts, a good show of faith is to go out and land Sheets. He'll come cheap, bolster an already overly-stacked rotation (Zambrano, Sheets, Harden, Dempster, Lily?!), and if things don't work out, at least he didn't cost that much. Oh, and you can always get Peavy anyways, just for the hell of it.
...I hate the Cubs so much.