Cubs To Make Run At Sheets

TUESDAY, 11:50am: MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets that Cubs officials say Sheets' current asking price does not fit their budget.  Sheets' agent Casey Close could stand to do a better job controlling the information on his client, because the reports of a $10-12MM demand make him look bad.  Muskat says the Cubs are still looking for right-handed relief.

MONDAY, 8:58pm: As Ken Rosenthal guessed last week, the Chicago Cubs are set to make a run at free agent pitcher Ben Sheets, the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan reports.

According to Sullivan, Cubs GM Jim Hendry contacted Sheets' agent during the Winter Meetings. Sheets is reportedly asking for two years and a guaranteed $10-12MM per year, though the Cubs believe "they have a good shot at landing him with an incentive-laden deal."  MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone believes Sheets is aiming for a second-year player option.

Sullivan sees Sheets slotting in nicely in front of Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly in the Chicago rotation, with Randy Wells and newly-acquired Carlos Silva also serving as starting options.  With Lilly coming off of arthroscopic shoulder surgery, and little recent success from Silva, it is hard to imagine the Cubs want to roll the dice with Sheets. However, they did acquire Rich Harden in July 2008, so high-risk, high-reward pitchers may just be how the Cubs roll.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


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133 Comments on "Cubs To Make Run At Sheets"


Guest
5 years 7 months ago

If we sign Ben Sheets it will be our worst signing since Milton Bradley.

cubbyfan23
5 years 7 months ago

So in other words, it won’t be a bad signing?

Don’t see why we would let Harden go only to pursue Sheets.

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

It seems they’d only sign him to an incentive-laden deal and even then they’ll want to see him work out first. Harden has #1 starter stuff, but he doesn’t have the durability you want in your top guy. I’m guessing the Cubs feel like if Sheets is healthy, he can be that guy at the top of the rotation; both in terms of stuff and as a guy who can be a workhorse. If they sign him to a one year, incentive-laden deal it may be worth the gamble. If they give him 2 years with a ton of guaranteed movie, well, then it may not be such a good idea.

Lotus09
5 years 7 months ago

They could have re-signed Harden to an incentive deal. He’s never had the surgery or damage Sheets has! Yet more idiocy on the part of Hendry. He’s running this team into the ground. Sheets’ health is ridiculous.

chemteck29
5 years 7 months ago

I’d agree it makes little sense for the Cubs to not resign Harden only to sign a guy with a worse health history. And frankly, injuries aside for a guy who hasn’t won more than 13 games in a season in his career just doesn’t strike as the kind of guy that’s worth what he’s asking after not even pitching in ’09!

strikethree
5 years 7 months ago

You can stop right there at “it makes little sense for the Cubs.”

This means it’s a done deal with Hendry.

strikethree
5 years 7 months ago

You can stop right there at “it makes little sense for the Cubs.”

This means it’s a done deal with Hendry.

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

1) He won’t get close to what he’s asking for.2) Not that wins are as important as you are making them out to be but if you’re going to use that argument, Harden has never won more than 11 games. He has won 50 games in 7 years; an average of about 7 per season.3) The reasons for not re-signing Harden had to do with the likelihood that he was going to garner about 10M in arbitration – guaranteed. The Cubs didn’t have it in their budget even if they wanted to sign such a high risk pitcher for that much money guaranteed. The Cubs interest in signing Sheets lies solely on signing him to a much smaller base pay laden with incentives. If he doesn’t, he’ll be outside of the Cubs budget limitations anyway and they’ll look elsewhere.If you say the Cubs should use that money elsewhere, like an extra bat for example, that’s one thing, but let’s not pretend that Harden at 10M would have been a better option for the Cubs. I don’t agree with everything they do but letting Harden walk, given their self-created budget problems, was the right move.

chemteck29
5 years 7 months ago

I’d agree it makes little sense for the Cubs to not resign Harden only to sign a guy with a worse health history. And frankly, injuries aside for a guy who hasn’t won more than 13 games in a season in his career just doesn’t strike as the kind of guy that’s worth what he’s asking after not even pitching in ’09!

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

Not really. The Cubs declined to offer arbitration. They would have had to give him guaranteed money and likely a raise (maybe around 10M/yr?) had they offered arb. Harden then signed a deal guaranteeing him 7.5M with Texas.Now, if the Cubs give Sheets the same or more guaranteed money than they would have paid Harden, then it becomes pretty questionable. I’m pretty sure, at any rate that part of the reason the Cubs did not want Harden is that he only seems to pitch 5 innings even when he is healthy. I imagine they believe Sheets is capable of giving more. Whether he can actually do that after coming off a serious injury is also pretty questionable.And I don’t disagree with you about Hendry in general. I’m just not sure Harden was the answer either. All things being equal, trading Harden for Sheets wouldn’t ruin the team. Hendry has already done far worse and he’s probably already ruined the team’s chances for the next couple of years.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

“He’s never had the surgery or damage Sheets has! Sheets’ health is ridiculous”Cant agree there. Sheets off sugruy and a year in rehab is almost certainly much healthier then the known issues of Harden. Remember, he cant throw the Slider anymore. The Cubs went as far as insisting he stop throwing it the last two starts of the season. (by that time, it was already too late though) And look at his first half 2009 numbers to see how strong his ability off the two pitch selection. Doubtful we could have gotten Harden for an incentive deal anyway – he landed 7.5, so why would he take 3-4 + incentives from us? And had we offered arbitration we would have had to pay him 10 MM for 2010. (which all indications are he would have accepted, and there is no way we can afford that so Hendry was forced to decline the arbitration offer)Hate Hendry, big time (obviously, as you can probably tell from my Icon 😀 ) And all the issues the team currently faces are his fault. But, given those issues, he did the correct thing in letting Harden walk, not trying to outdo the Texas offer and instead chasing a pitcher who is likely cheaper and healthier.That said, we dont need Sheets – we need a hitter!!! Hendry, you are a joke if you chase yet another arm while ignoring the gigantic black hole on the bench to back up questionable starters up the middle and on the two corner OF spots!

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

You mean you’re not looking forward to the exciting 3 way spring training battle between LaHair, Hoffpauir and Snyder to be that “big bat” off the bench?

That being said, knowing that Hendry will almost certainly waste the money on a middle reliever instead, Sheets might be the lesser of evils. What might be worse is that the Cubs lose out on Sheets and as a “consolation”, they offer the money they would have spent on whatever middle reliever is still on the market. Another positive with Sheets is that there would be no room for Silva in the rotation once Lilly gets back…and no room for Parisi at all.

Always look on the bright side of life…do do do do do do do do…

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

“That being said, knowing that Hendry will almost certainly waste the money on a middle reliever instead, Sheets might be the lesser of evils.”Yeah, thats true :( Of course, could also be trading for Bell which would be spending the money + top prospects for the reliever, but at least he would be a good reliever. Of course, we dont need a reliever as much as we need a bench overhaul to begin with! Such a mess :( I hate you Hendry! I know, I know… “It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality” and I’ll get back to the customary singing now… Dodo, dodo, dodo dodo dodo!

Lotus09
5 years 7 months ago

They could have re-signed Harden to an incentive deal. He’s never had the surgery or damage Sheets has! Yet more idiocy on the part of Hendry. He’s running this team into the ground. Sheets’ health is ridiculous.

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

It seems they’d only sign him to an incentive-laden deal and even then they’ll want to see him work out first. Harden has #1 starter stuff, but he doesn’t have the durability you want in your top guy. I’m guessing the Cubs feel like if Sheets is healthy, he can be that guy at the top of the rotation; both in terms of stuff and as a guy who can be a workhorse. If they sign him to a one year, incentive-laden deal it may be worth the gamble. If they give him 2 years with a ton of guaranteed movie, well, then it may not be such a good idea.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I think it would be a terrible signing. If his price lowered then why not take a risk. But I’d take Bedard over Sheets if we are going to talk about pitchers with former injuries. Bedard is a lefty and wont demand as much. Harden has the best right-handed change-up in all of Baseball so i agree i wouldn’t have just let Harden go to pursue one of these risky pitchers.

5 years 7 months ago

Sheets has started a lot more games per year than Harden has. Harden has only had three years of more than 20 starts. For a few mil more, or less preferably, I’d take a chance on Sheets, provided he’s healthy.

Funny how Sheets is risky, and Harden is probably one of the biggest injury proned starters of recent years. All of the pitchers you mentioned are risks, but at least Sheets has finished complete seasons.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Sheets hasn’t pitched since ’08…Harden has proven to at least be a tad durable on the Cubbies. Bedard is just cheaper than sheets. It’s not like the Cubs are in desperate need of a starting pitcher, They have 4 frontline quality starters.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

The Cub had to force Harden to stop throwing a pitch after he reintroduced it at the mid-point to try and provide something resembling success. It was a start or two too late though and he missed the end of the season anyway. Harden is anything but Durable if throwing his 3-pitch selection and is beyond hittable if limited to the 2-pitch to try and get innings in.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Sheets hasn’t pitched since ’08…Harden has proven to at least be a tad durable on the Cubbies. Bedard is just cheaper than sheets. It’s not like the Cubs are in desperate need of a starting pitcher, They have 4 frontline quality starters.

5 years 7 months ago

Sheets has started a lot more games per year than Harden has. Harden has only had three years of more than 20 starts. For a few mil more, or less preferably, I’d take a chance on Sheets, provided he’s healthy.

Funny how Sheets is risky, and Harden is probably one of the biggest injury proned starters of recent years. All of the pitchers you mentioned are risks, but at least Sheets has finished complete seasons.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I think it would be a terrible signing. If his price lowered then why not take a risk. But I’d take Bedard over Sheets if we are going to talk about pitchers with former injuries. Bedard is a lefty and wont demand as much. Harden has the best right-handed change-up in all of Baseball so i agree i wouldn’t have just let Harden go to pursue one of these risky pitchers.

5 years 7 months ago

good point. seems like sheets is gonna cost more dough too.

Guest
5 years 7 months ago

If we sign Ben Sheets it will be our worst signing since Milton Bradley.

Manuelilito
5 years 7 months ago

oh no! and here’s come the cubs!

Manuelilito
5 years 7 months ago

oh no! and here’s come the cubs!

eacree
5 years 7 months ago

it might just work……if he plays he is gonna produce but the playing part is a big “IF”

eacree
5 years 7 months ago

it might just work……if he plays he is gonna produce but the playing part is a big “IF”

NYYANKEES
5 years 7 months ago

Why let Harden go than?

NYYANKEES
5 years 7 months ago

Why let Harden go than?

5 years 7 months ago

Omar. Please?

5 years 7 months ago

Omar. Please?

Sampsonite168
5 years 7 months ago

Nope. Too busy signing Joel Scrubneiro, who doesn’t provide the Mets with anything they need, and has a high probability of being a bust considering he was complete garbage for 5 years straight before finally having one good year. And the Mets are going to give him multiple years to boot, so he can hamstring the Mets on pitching next season where their are at least half a dozen pitchers better than Scrubneiro hitting free agency.

5 years 7 months ago

I know. I’d rather pay Sheets an Wang Pineiro’s money an sign Garland to a 1 year deal as injury security. I can’t deal with John Maine, so I’m goin with:

Santana
Sheets
Ollie
Pelfrey
Garland

As I thnk Wang won’t be ready to pitch til May and I’m not sure if that includes rehab starts…

Sampsonite168
5 years 7 months ago

Nope. Too busy signing Joel Scrubneiro, who doesn’t provide the Mets with anything they need, and has a high probability of being a bust considering he was complete garbage for 5 years straight before finally having one good year. And the Mets are going to give him multiple years to boot, so he can hamstring the Mets on pitching next season where their are at least half a dozen pitchers better than Scrubneiro hitting free agency.

5 years 7 months ago

Is it me or the Cubs seem to be without a plan.

strikethree
5 years 7 months ago

Did you really expect Hendry to have a plan…?

strikethree
5 years 7 months ago

Did you really expect Hendry to have a plan…?

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

I get the feeling he just sort of makes things up as he goes along.

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

nah man, he has a plan! His gamebook reads – “you can never have too much pitching”, “I <3 midget middle infielders" and "the more it cost, the better it is". I've seen it :p

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

I stand corrected!

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

of course, it is also just a napkin he keeps crumpled in his pocket. And its written in crayon… but I think it still counts as his gamebook. Those three things are clearly the three sayings by which he does all business :)

crunchy1
5 years 7 months ago

I get the feeling he just sort of makes things up as he goes along.

5 years 7 months ago

Is it me or the Cubs seem to be without a plan.

bucs_lose_again
5 years 7 months ago

Not a bad acquisition, but as someone pointed out here not too long ago, if they were to get Sheets, they’d certainly have a glutton of starting pitching. They’d almost be forced to put two starters in the bullpen, most likely Gorzelanny and Silva, unless of course they can trade one of them (clearly, doubtful on Silva), thus weaking the bullpen.

rootman1010
5 years 7 months ago

the cubs don’t have a ‘glutton’ of starting pitching. ted lilly isn’t going to be with the club until May due to injury. gorzelanny isn’t that good and randy wells could have a sophomore slump. some depth is needed.
if sheets is healthy it would be a great pickup, but yes, that’s a BIG if

bucs_lose_again
5 years 7 months ago

Show me where I said a glutton of quality starting pitching. I said they had a lot of starters, which they clearly do. I wasn’t trying to bash them, I was just pointing out that they have some options when it comes to starters before they even add Sheets.

rootman1010
5 years 7 months ago

chill
the cubs have a 4 man rotation as of now. silva has been a starter but he will be throwing out of the pen. samardzija is horrible but he would give the cubs a fifth starter. there is NOT a lot of starters there and they will need more to compete in the NL central

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

startersZambranoLillyDempsterWellsGorzelannyMarshallSilvaParisi (dont ask… :/ )And those are just the guys that must be kept on the 25-man rosterIf we signed Sheets, we would have this as our rotation and penZambrano / Lilly / Dempster / Sheets / WellsMarshall / Gorzelanny / Silva / Grabow / Guzman / Marmol / (Open)(Parisi probably returned)Tell me why exactly we would need 3 long men in the pen? Makes no sense. But none can be sent to minors. It would just be the newest Hendry mess.

rootman1010
5 years 7 months ago

uh
marshall is too valuable in the bullpen and yea, parisi will prolly be gone. lilly is hurt. silva can’t be trusted with a rotation spot. then we’re right back to my point, not enough depth. i would like to see them sign sheets btw

Suzysman
5 years 7 months ago

Oh, not saying we should be overly happy with the depth – but the depth is there. And its all out of options or cant be sent down. And if Sheets is added, it means 3 longmen. And we dont have much cash, so Sheets will probably take almost it all. And our bigger need is the pitiful bench. Oh Hendry, the messes you create…And so you know, I dont hate the idea of a Sheets signing. What I dont like is a Sheets signing under the current situations. We have much bigger issues then adding a 4th starter.

rootman1010
5 years 7 months ago

chill
the cubs have a 4 man rotation as of now. silva has been a starter but he will be throwing out of the pen. samardzija is horrible but he would give the cubs a fifth starter. there is NOT a lot of starters there and they will need more to compete in the NL central

in8one
5 years 7 months ago

“they’d certainly have a glutton of starting pitching.”

I’d say somewhere about there

bucs_lose_again
5 years 7 months ago

Show me where I said a glutton of quality starting pitching. I said they had a lot of starters, which they clearly do. I wasn’t trying to bash them, I was just pointing out that they have some options when it comes to starters before they even add Sheets.

rootman1010
5 years 7 months ago

the cubs don’t have a ‘glutton’ of starting pitching. ted lilly isn’t going to be with the club until May due to injury. gorzelanny isn’t that good and randy wells could have a sophomore slump. some depth is needed.
if sheets is healthy it would be a great pickup, but yes, that’s a BIG if

bucs_lose_again
5 years 7 months ago

Not a bad acquisition, but as someone pointed out here not too long ago, if they were to get Sheets, they’d certainly have a glutton of starting pitching. They’d almost be forced to put two starters in the bullpen, most likely Gorzelanny and Silva, unless of course they can trade one of them (clearly, doubtful on Silva), thus weaking the bullpen.

5 years 7 months ago

good thing we got maddux to tell Jim hendry not to give sheets 2 yrs 12 mil guarenteed otherwise he would do it. Remember No one would give bradley or bryd three years but the cubs outbid themselves again.

5 years 7 months ago

good thing we got maddux to tell Jim hendry not to give sheets 2 yrs 12 mil guarenteed otherwise he would do it. Remember No one would give bradley or bryd three years but the cubs outbid themselves again.

kevinhetrick
5 years 7 months ago

I don’t understand how you guys can be upset about offering an incentive laden deal. If he is healthy and performs well then he is worth the money you are paying and if he is injured then obviously you don’t have to pay the incentives he didn’t reach. Its a win-win for the Cubs, low risk and high reward.

kevinhetrick
5 years 7 months ago

I don’t understand how you guys can be upset about offering an incentive laden deal. If he is healthy and performs well then he is worth the money you are paying and if he is injured then obviously you don’t have to pay the incentives he didn’t reach. Its a win-win for the Cubs, low risk and high reward.

diehardcubbie
5 years 7 months ago

I’m thinking the Cubs, who saw harden pitch last year, know of some kind of injury he may have. He was certainly hittable last year and he sometimes completely lost his control. See if Sheets looks healthy. then sign him with incentives.

diehardcubbie
5 years 7 months ago

I’m thinking the Cubs, who saw harden pitch last year, know of some kind of injury he may have. He was certainly hittable last year and he sometimes completely lost his control. See if Sheets looks healthy. then sign him with incentives.