Athletics Sign Ben Sheets

The A's signed Ben Sheets to a one-year deal worth $10MM plus performance bonuses today. The injury-prone righty took his physical and everything checked out fine. That's no surprise, since Sheets looked impressive last week when he auditioned for interested clubs.

It's a lot of money to guarantee a pitcher who hasn't taken the hill since 2008, but Sheets has considerably more upside than most. He pitched 198.1 innings for the Brewers in 2008, allowing 181 hits and 47 walks, striking out 158 for a 3.09 ERA. 

Consider that most players are signing team-friendly deals at this point in the offseason and Sheets' contract looks pretty good. Consider that Rich Harden, who actually started 26 games last year, signed for $7.5MM this winter and the deal looks even better for Sheets and agent Casey Close.

CSNBayArea's Mychael Urban tweeted that the A's made Sheets a "competitive" offer and noted that the A's had scheduled a press conference. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reported that the A's signed Sheets and Jon Heyman of SI.com added details, including the value of the deal.

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


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272 Comments on "Athletics Sign Ben Sheets"


04Forever
5 years 7 months ago

what a wonderful idea! try to sign sheets or go get an outfielder! ummm, what?

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 7 months ago

i agree, this is a bit of a wtf-strategy from beane-and-company. so… either we need a high-risk, high-reward starter or a medium-risk, medium-reward aging outfielder. i guess either one’s just going to get flipped at the trade deadline anyway, but still… save your $7MM until you’ve got a plan, right?

kimofromkauai
5 years 7 months ago

Agreed completely, get a coherent plan and quit counting on “flipping for profit”. An unneeded old outfielder who can’t play defense and a SP who didn’t pitch last season don’t seem to fit on a team trying to build for 2011+.

bjsguess
5 years 7 months ago

If Damon can be had for under $5m any team should be in on that. He will be a steal and valuable come the trade deadline.

5 years 7 months ago

The A’s really look like they are just trying to fill seats with these moves. They probably are having a tough time selling tickets and need to spark some interest. Either way both Sheets and Damon won’t be on the A’s roster come Aug 1. They will just be traded for mediocre prospects like usual

5 years 7 months ago

The A’s really look like they are just trying to fill seats with these moves. They probably are having a tough time selling tickets and need to spark some interest. Either way both Sheets and Damon won’t be on the A’s roster come Aug 1. They will just be traded for mediocre prospects like usual

elgringo79
5 years 7 months ago

Not to mention Travis Buck and Michael Taylor (!)

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

I’d love to see the A’s add Sheets, but Damon is truly a strange “Plan B”.

I guess they would have Damon start at DH and trade Cust…?

coachofall
5 years 7 months ago

What this means is Billy Beane sees two players who if they perform at their expected level could be difference makers at the Trade Deadline. Sheets would be great in that yard if healhty

Brad426
5 years 7 months ago

What were the interesting tweets? Nah, just kiddin’. Sheets I could see (if his asking price drops from what I have read)… Damon doesn’t seem to fit with the A’s.

ggt
5 years 7 months ago

The AL West is getting increasingly competitive. Fun to watch

xTheHalosx
5 years 7 months ago

Agreed, can’t wait for the season to begin!

Devern Hansack
5 years 7 months ago

I’m assuming that Beane would sign one of these two players in order to flip them at the Deadline. That’s not a bad strategy, in my opinion. In the best case scenario, it could be like the Holliday trade. In the worst case scenario, it’d be like the Giambi signing. This strategy is high-risk, but could provide an extremely high reward.

kimofromkauai
5 years 7 months ago

I hope the best case for Oakland is much better than the Holliday deals. The A’s now wind up with Taylor, who may not be much better than C Gonzalez who went to Colorado – not to mention H Street. I do not think the Holliday adventure worked out for the A’s at all.

coachofall
5 years 7 months ago

street was a closer who had lost his job in Oakland, they had internal options who they arent paying 6 mil per year for. Greg Smith is garbage, Carlos Gonzalez is the question mark….Taylor for CarGonz not horrible

CrustyJuggler
5 years 7 months ago

Carlos Gonzalez>>>>>>Michael Taylor. He looked like a true 5-tool player in Colorado last year and may break out HUGE in 2010. Taylor still is a complete unknown and may never be good in the bigs. The A’s really screwed up by dealing away Gonzalez.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, and Gonzalez would all look nice in AZ. Haren is a great pitcher but these kids should have some great careers.

ivdown
5 years 7 months ago

It’s amazing how much trading has gone on involving Mulder, Haren, and Holliday.

Haren, Kiko Calero, and Daric Barton for Mulder.
Haren and Connor Robertson to AZ for Carlos González, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Greg Smith, Dana Eveland, and Chris Carter.
Holliday to Oakland for Huston Street and Greg Smith, and outfielder Carlos González.
Holliday to St. Louis for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen, and Shane Peterson.
Then of course:
Brett Wallace to Toronto for Michael Taylor.

So in essence:

Oakland: Brett Anderson (biggest player by far they get imo), Michael Taylor, Aaron Cunningham, Chris Carter, Clayton Mortensen, Dana Eveland, Daric Barton, Kiko Calero and Shane Peterson.
Arizona: Dan Haren and Connor Robertson.
Colorado: Huston Street and Greg Smith, and outfielder Carlos González.
St. Louis: Matt Holliday and Mark Mulder.
Toronoto: Brett Wallace

That’s a ton of players for essentially 3 star players.

Yankees10
5 years 7 months ago

They also have Michael Taylor, signing Damon would be a bad idea

04Forever
5 years 7 months ago

This to me atleast reeks of “lets sign a high risk player, hope they play well and get prospects mid-season for one of them”. They cant use either player, neither helps them make the playoffs, so why bother with them unless thats the case?

AsFanForever
5 years 7 months ago

Really? Ben Sheets won’t help a team make it to the playoffs? If the guy stays healthy he is a stud and could be an ace on any staff especially if you combine him with the Coliseum.

5 years 7 months ago

I think he meant that even by adding Sheets the A’s are still far from being a team that would make it to the playoff. The A’s are still a bit off from being a contending team.

04Forever
5 years 7 months ago

Right.

AsFanForever
5 years 7 months ago

That’s not very true either. The A’s have made it with anemic offenses in the past as well and adding Sheets would give them one of the better rotations in the West with Duke, Sheets, Braden and Anderson being only the 1-4 without even mentioning Cahill and Gonzalez will probably improve and combining it with the best bullpen in the league will give them one of the better pitching staffs in the majors. The Angels lost a lot in Lackey, Figgins and Guerrero. The Rangers pretty much sat on their hands adding only Oliver a RP that can only contribute so much and an aging Vlad as their only significant additions. The Mariners are really the only threats but they have added significant pieces in the past as well that completely blew up in their face. The division weakening so much has to be taken into account as well.

xTheHalosx
5 years 7 months ago

The offense of the A’s wont get them there, however its true they do have an excellent bullpen, but you saying the West “weakened so much” is just wishful thinking. Vlad missed alot of the season with injuries and Lackey started the season on the DL. Figgy as the leadoff was probly the bigger loss, but he’s a speed guy thats losing his speed, don’t get me wrong, I liked Chone a lot but its time Wood comes up, he was out of options to stay in the minors. Besides, Abrue, Aybar, Izzy (if starting) can all lead off, even Howie can, so don’t be so quick to call every team weak in an attempt to get your hopes up, sorry but A’s wont contend this year even with Sheets.

AsFanForever
5 years 7 months ago

How was Lackey not a big loss especially when you consider that he was the only Angels starter, besides Weaver, with an ERA under 4.60. You guys replace Lackey with a guy like Joel Pinero and thats not good. Remember the last time he pitched a full season in the AL he had an ERA over 5 in the Mariners park. And I agree the offense for the Angels may not weaken by much because of the addition of Matsui but you can’t tell me it’s not going to weaken when you plug guys in that are already there for leadoff. When someone moves up, someone else has to come in and usually that person is an inferior player. Brandon Wood is an inferior player. He has to prove that he can hit above the Mendoza line in the majors before he actually looks good and remember not too long ago he was released by his Mexican League team because he hit below the Mendoza line there as well.

I just read your point about Kazmir replacing Lackey. Good luck with that. You’re talking about a guy who just pitched to a solid 4.89 ERA last year replacing your ace.

xTheHalosx
5 years 7 months ago

Lol its funny how you look at Kaz ERA at the end of the season, but don’t know the details. His ERA with tampa was was almost 6 for 20 games, he was struggling, but once he came to the Angels he had an ERA under 2 for 6 games, where (and now for the details) he re joined his old pitching coach from tampa, Mike Butcher. So while Im not saying he’ll be a “number 1″ I am saying that he’s a solid SP who adds to our club and will be great back for a full season with Butcher. Lets be honest here, I’m sure most (most being the key word, not saying the Yanks/Sox/Phils or other strong teams) fans would be happy to have the Angels rotation, like A’s fans…Lol when did I say Wood was the next big thing? I just mentioned that Figgy had to go cuz our prospect was out of options. Also wtf are you talking about a Mexican league for wood? He was drafted in 03 by the Angels from an AZ high school, I don’t think he was playing in Mexico as a teen…. I know just as everyone else does that he’s gotta prove himself, so not sure whats with all the inferiority talk, just sounds like your bitter IMO

AsFanForever
5 years 7 months ago

In 2008 he played in the Dominican Winter League and got sent home because he hit .167. You need to read up on the prospects for your team a little more.

http://www.tireball.com/behindthedugout/?p=771

And why would I be bitter about the Angels rotation? Even without Sheets, the A’s have a rotation of Duke, Anderson, Braden, Cahill and Mazzaro/Gonzalez. Adding in Sheets would only help that rotation. I would much rather have those guys than Kazmir, Pinero, Weaver, Santana and Saunders. Do you really have that much faith that Pinero could dominate like he did in the NL once he switches back into the AL? The question marks are there for your offense just as much as there is with the A’s. And jealous of Brandon Wood? Why? Kevin Kouzmanoff will have the better year in 2010 anyways.

xTheHalosx
5 years 7 months ago

Oh wow well his average was that low for a grand total of 13 games big deal, again the kid needs regular at bats in the majors to progress, look at his minor league numbers he’s got nothing left to prove at that level. And why you might take that rotation good for you that’s your opinion, and my opinionis that I’d rather have the angels’ rotation.

AsFanForever
5 years 7 months ago

The reason you should care even though it’s only 13 games is because that was against lesser competition than even in AAA ball.

elduderino666
5 years 7 months ago

Love watching know-nothing Disneyland fans get pwnt.

cookmeister
5 years 7 months ago

I am an angels fan and live 2 minutes away from d-land. i hate disneyland, i actually think the more you go/closer you live, the more you hate it

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

“I just mentioned that Figgy had to go cuz our prospect was out of options.”

Since when do you let a versatile lead off hitter walk because you’ve got an unproven prospect with atrocious strikeout (33%) and walk (3%) rates who’s out of options?

That has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.

yetisnowman
5 years 7 months ago

I’d rather have the A’s rotation than the Angels, that is for sure. Angels are much more of a complete team though on paper right now.

04Forever
5 years 7 months ago

thats an absurdly LARGE if, considering the last time he pitched in the majors was in 2008

5 years 7 months ago

As fans might as well get used to the idea of Damon…..the Mets can afford and will overpay for Sheets; they desperately need him…the Rangers are really the Mets only competition

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

The top teams happen to be the Mets and the A’s. It would make no sense for sheets to go back to texas, especially in that great hitters park. If he is trying to make it back in the majors as a strong pitcher from the past, a one year contract in a pitchers park would be the perfect contract.

For the A’s not contending I highly doubt that
The AL west has weaken
The Angels lost lackey number 1 starter and replaced him with Pinero who basically was torn up by the Al west when he pitched for the mariners
Loseing vlad and signing injury prone Matsui is an option? highly doubt it
as for woods takin over 3rd who knows what he can do, until he proves himself so that is always a question mark
The Mariners have made alot of noise but they always seem to make some type of noise and cant come together and win the AL west, there bullpen isnt the best so that is a question mark also
Getting Bradley who I watch in Oakland could be a good pick up if he decides not to be an immature child.
Felix and Lee a great 1 2. no doubt there
Rangers will never have amazing pitching in that park they play in
but there power def has not changed. If Hamilton stays healthy they will def contend

As for the A’s Signing sheets will def make our young solid rotation even better
Justin D
Sheets
Anderson
Cahill
Gio G
solid Bullpen

Hitting could be a problem like it is every year, but we def will have the fastest outfield
with Davis, Crisp, and sweeney. Alot more stolen bases and most likely alot more small ball
Our defense is solid! With Kurt S at catcher, Ellis at 2nd, KOUZMANOFF at 3rd

I see signing Damon as a good and bad thing
def will be a hitting booster but then why pay someone like him millions to play one year unless Beane is planning to flip him at the allstar break, thats what money ball is all about.

The Al West will be a race all the way to the end.
GO OAKLAND

xTheHalosx
5 years 7 months ago

For the 147th time, Pineiro didn’t replace Lackey, thats what Kazmir was for. Pineiro will be our 5th starter. And vlad was also injury prone, the thing with Matsui is that (if healthy) he will add a strong LEFT handed bat, which the Angels basically only had Morales (Abrue is a switch hitter but not as big a power threat). So his signing over Vlad was to have a more balanced line up, not so RH batter heavy.

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

Kazimir seems to never be healthy. Your lineup will still put up runs but I dont think your rotation will be as solid as it has been over the last few years.
Who is the angels number 1?
Kazmir?
If he is I would have serious worries

xTheHalosx
5 years 7 months ago

Sorry, my post might have not been so clear about Kaz. He was brought in to strengthen the rotation because the FO was probly sure they weren’t gonna make a serious bid for Lackey to come back. So he wont necessarily be the “Number 1″ guy but gives us a strong rotation.Not sure where your getting your info either, his 06 year he started 24 games(not counting his 8 his rookie year), his lowest in 6 seasons so I don’t think he’s always injured. You might be thinking of Lackey, he began the last 2 seasons on the DL. Also he had a bad 1st half in Tampa but once he worked with Butcher (his ild pitching coach) here in Anaheim he had an ERA of 1.73. And no I don’t have serious worries, I actually can’t wait for the season to start so we can win the West agian and make a run in the playoffs 😀

markjsunz
5 years 7 months ago

It interesting that the angels took on Kazs contract which is a little higher per year then lackeys contract. If kaz is healthy he could be a #1 starter for the angels. He has had some health problems the last few years. The fact that the angels prefer Kaz over Lackey makes you wonder what is going on. The Red Sox went so public about not signing Jason Bay and his bad knees, there might be a greater problem up the road with Lackey.

xTheHalosx
5 years 7 months ago

Yes but Kaz is with us for 2 years, not 5 that the red sox signed lackey for so in the long run Kaz would’ve been paid less. Lackey has had health problems before, the Angels FO definitely knows stuff we might not know for some time, but thats just our opinion so who knows, right.

markjsunz
5 years 7 months ago

You are correct we are not privy to what the Angels may know about Lackey. If kaz is healthy he can anchor the angels staff. We will have to wait and see.The angels lost some players and seattle added a few guys but the angels will be in the hunt the whole way. Should be a good 2010 season.

bjsguess
5 years 7 months ago

I think you need to check your math. As per Cots:

Kazmir is either 2/22 or 3/33 (if the option is picked up) – Average = $11m
Lackey is 5/82 – Average = $16.4

And for the hundredth time – we don’t need Kazmir to go out and pitch 200+ innings of low 3’s ERA. Lackey over the past 2 years has given the team about 160 innings and an ERA in the high 3’s. Even with his injuries and ineffectiveness the team managed to knock out 197 wins. Kazmir simply needs to go 160 innings with an ERA under 4 to match Lackey’s past 2 year output.

5 years 7 months ago

For 2009 I think the Angels Rotation will probably be Weaver, Kazmir, Santana, Saunders, Pineiro, in that order.

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 7 months ago

No one gets their agenda disseminated by the media as well as Boras does.

not_brooks
5 years 7 months ago

Agreed, but why would it help Boras/Damon to leak something about the A’s, a team without much money and a surplus of outfielders?

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 7 months ago

Maybe because Damon has so few (one?) suitors that any team that is added to the mix furthers Boras/Damon’s interests

5 years 7 months ago

I don’t quite understand the not having money deal here – this is the same team that had 2nd highest bids for both Chapman and Beltre. But regardless Damon makes no sense at all to the A’s.

jpshark
5 years 7 months ago

The A’s have some money to spend so to those dismissing the Sheets idea, just wait it out and see. Oakland would be the perfect place to try to re-build some value. Huge park, and a healthy Sheets could put up ridiculous numbers there. I also wouldn’t assume this move is made ONLY to flip him at the deadline. A rotation of Duke, Sheets, Anderson, Braden and Cahill/Gio would be very solid. They already have one of the best bullpens in the game, to go along with a very good defensive unit. The offense won’t set the world on fire but they showed in the 2nd half last season they can put up some runs and won’t need to score a ton with a strong rotation/bullpen/defense. I wouldn’t just assume the A’s have no chance in 2010.

coachofall
5 years 7 months ago

i go to a lot of A’s game throughout the course of a year and don’t see a strong Defense on this years squad. I hope so, just not seeing it. Kouz is a very overrated defended with little range…Crisp is coming off an injury. Love Suzuki and Ellis with the glove but not much else

jpshark
5 years 7 months ago

Well you’ve also got Barton at 1B, Sweeney in RF, and Rajai Davis in CF/LF. The only spot on the diamond where they lack somebody who projects as above average is at SS and Pennington is far from a bad defender, and was pretty good in the minors. Good range, very strong arm. He could easily end up an above average SS himself.

5 years 7 months ago

The OF outside of Crisp (because of injuries) looks good defensively; Ryan Sweeney is a plus defensive OF, Davis should be a decent defensive player (much of that is because of his speed).

In the IF; Kouz maybe a bit overrated but I still think he should be a average defender at 3rd. Ellis, Suzuki should be fine..Pennington looks to be average and Barton is a pretty good defender at 1st..

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

Kouzmanoff set the league record in defense last year????

elgringo79
5 years 7 months ago

Not to mention Travis Buck and Michael Taylor (!)

Ricky
5 years 7 months ago

I’m a Met fan, and realize Sheets is a huge injury risk on a team full of injury risks but it makes sense. The team cannot afford to deal any of the few prospects they have and Sheets will only cost $$$$ for 1 year and I believe he will not cost a draft pick.

universalguru
5 years 7 months ago

Sheets has got the realize that any signing (and good performance) would lead to a trade down the road. Unless they included a no-trade clause I can’t imagine him being comfortable choosing the A’s unless they offer him the absolute highest guaranteed bid.

AsFanForever
5 years 7 months ago

Why does everyone assume that a trade is coming down the line? If Sheets helps the A’s make it to the playoffs then we could be looking to add players not just flip them. This is a move toward the playoffs to get an above average rotation and depending on how Cahill and Anderson develops and the health of Sheets and Duke, this move could actually give them one of the better rotations in the majors. The offense should be good since nearly everyone is fast and they are moving toward a philosophy of small ball. Why would we be trying to flip Sheets if we are winning? I don’t understand why everyone automatically assumes the A’s don’t win because of 3 bad seasons following a trip to the ALCS.

jdkladsjl
5 years 7 months ago

I totally agree. Most people dont understand Money Ball at all. Beane has proved that he is the smartest GM by following his method. We will def add players if we are winning like most teams would.

BrocNessMonster
5 years 7 months ago

Yeah, if Cahill and Anderson have breakout years, and Sheets and Duke are both healthy, and Sheets and Duke both have career years, then yes, one of the best rotations in baseball. If.

burn31226
5 years 7 months ago

The A’s dont have a shot. Buster is a great source but Tim, you need to look around more. The 3 teams that are probably going to sign him are Mets, Mariners, or a wild card team is the Rangers. Check out prospectinsider.com. Sorry A’s fans

jpshark
5 years 7 months ago

Right…something tells me that prospectinsider.com may not know all of the details, just a hunch. Beane NEVER gives information on specific free agent targets, and this is no different. I have read quite a few quotes and reports from people since the middle of last week that either say, or strongly suggest that the A’s are serious suitors for Sheets. I am fairly certain they have just as good of a chance as the Mets, Mariners and Rangers.

TheBunk
5 years 7 months ago

Tim needs to look around more? He only covers every legitimate source, is that not enough for you?

5 years 7 months ago

“The A’s dont have a shot. Buster is a great source but Tim, you need to look around more. The 3 teams that are probably going to sign him are Mets, Mariners, or a wild card team is the Rangers. Check out prospectinsider.com. Sorry A’s fans”

It’s times like this I miss when we couldn’t edit posts

YanksFanSince78
5 years 7 months ago

Not sure why people think Cashman is only willing to offer Damon $2 mil. I believe what’s been sais is that they were telling “others” they had $2 mil to spend but would go over that amount to sign Damon for something in the $5-$6 mil range.

04Forever
5 years 7 months ago

“Athletics Interested in Random Players”

5 years 7 months ago

I think it’s just like they did last year. Holliday, Orlando Cabrera, if Nomar stayed healthy then he probably would of went too. Just away to trade to contending teams at the trade deadline.

yanksrdashit
5 years 7 months ago

so this is the mystery team i guess for Damon, but why are they going after him? They have alot of outfielders. Like someone else said i guess to just to trade them at the deadline and get some prospects back.

Roy Munson
5 years 7 months ago

Both Good Moves for the A’s… High Risk All Upside with Sheets, and Damon would be a solid fit for them

5 years 7 months ago

Can you explain how Damon would be a solid fit for the A’s? I still have not seen good reasons how Damon is a good fit. So I am wondering what makes Damon a fit in Oakland let along a solid fit.