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.


133 Responses to Cubs To Make Run At Sheets Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

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

    • cubbyfan23 5 years 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

        • 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 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 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 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.

        • 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 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.

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

  2. Guest 5 years ago

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

  3. Manuelilito 5 years ago

    oh no! and here’s come the cubs!

  4. Manuelilito 5 years ago

    oh no! and here’s come the cubs!

  5. eacree 5 years ago

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

  6. eacree 5 years ago

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

  7. NYYANKEES 5 years ago

    Why let Harden go than?

  8. NYYANKEES 5 years ago

    Why let Harden go than?

  9. Omar. Please?

  10. Omar. Please?

    • Sampsonite168 5 years 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.

      • 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 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.

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

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      Did you really expect Hendry to have a plan…?

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      Did you really expect Hendry to have a plan…?

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

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

      • Suzysman 5 years 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 ago

          I stand corrected!

          • Suzysman 5 years 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 ago

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

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

  13. bucs_lose_again 5 years 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 ago

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

          I’d say somewhere about there

      • bucs_lose_again 5 years 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 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

  14. bucs_lose_again 5 years 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. kevinhetrick 5 years 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.

  18. kevinhetrick 5 years 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.

  19. diehardcubbie 5 years 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.

  20. diehardcubbie 5 years 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.

  21. A 1yr deal with a club option sounds good. 5 Millions plus incentives based on making the all star game, cy young votings, wins, innings pitches and strikeout milestones

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      I’d take that. It’d be a lot cheaper deal than what we would have paid Harden had they gone to arbitration –although we have to hope Sheets is agreeable and that the Cubs don’t repeat their recent history of overbidding.

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        Can we afford 5 Million? All indication is, no.Maybe it means we have someone lined up to take Marshall or Gorzelanny though. That would save about 2 MM on either, which would allow for about 5 to Sheets per previous expectations.Of course, it would also probably mean no outfielder :(

        • crunchy1 5 years ago

          That is the big downside but I’m becoming more and more convinced trhat an OF’er is pretty low on Hendry’s priority list. I haven’t heard the Cubs connected to any bench help with the exception of Hendry saying “he wouldn’t be opposed to bringing back Reed Johnson.” When he didn’t get excited about Ryan Church’s or Austin Kearn’s availability, two guys he’s pined for in recent years, I began having serious doubts as to whether that crumpled napkin in his pocket has OF scribbled on it at all!

          And I’ve had this feeling that Marshall is the guy they’re dangling to get a middle reliever like Jason Frasor. So if they go after Sheets instead, maybe they just dump Marshall for a non 40 man roster guy.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            “That is the big downside but I’m becoming more and more convinced trhat an OF’er is pretty low on Hendry’s priority list.”

            Please dont say it. I mean, I know it – just please dont say it. I am still in denial mode here, and want to stay that way until camp actually opens with our 5 man, 4A bench.

            “I began having serious doubts as to whether that crumpled napkin in his pocket has OF scribbled on it at all!”

            Nope, I think it only has those three sayings and everything else is him just winging it. Besides, just because something is on the napkin doesnt mean he understands it. I dont think he understand “you can never have too much pitching” completely and instead takes it to mean “get every reliever with poor command you can find”. As far as “the more it costs, the better it is”, I think he takes it as meaning “the more I spend on something, the better it will be”. And the “I (heart) midget middle infielders” part, well I dont even want to know why he has that obsession :)

            By the way, wait till you see my new icon for when Hendry is actually finally fired! Already have the image lined up, and you’ll love it!

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            Hopefully you’ll get to break the new icon out soon!

            “I dont think he understand ‘you can never have too much pitching’ completely and instead takes it to mean ‘get every reliever with poor command you can find’. ”

            When you first wrote that I thought about how that line is a remnant from the McPhail era. But it has been corrupted since then. In the McPhail days it was about developing your own pitching; the days when we used to use 9 out of our first 10 draft picks on pitchers. The idea was you can always trade any surplus pitchers for bats. In general McPhail still uses that philosophy with the O’s…though he never seems to follow through with the trading them for bats part of it, not now and not when he was with the Cubs. We just sort of hoarded them until they flamed out before reaching AA ball. (Where have you gone Chad Blasko, Luke Hagerty, Bobby Brownlie, etc.?). At least with the O’s McPhail did trade Bedard for one bat in Adam Jones but, of course, the other three guys were pitchers.

            At least McPhail’s idea was a good one in theory, that’s more than I can say for Hendry’s plan.

          • studio179 5 years ago

            Any chance of squeezing ‘Fire Kenney’ in the icon, too.

        • dire straits 5 years ago

          Any chance the Cubs sign Dye? Have they been connected this offseason?

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            No, I haven’t heard any reputable source connect the Cubs with Dye. Two big things work against this happening. 1) currently he is asking more money than the Cubs want to pay and 2) I believe he is looking to start somewhere. There are also indications that the Cubs still want a left-handed bat, despite for the need of a righty bat to spell Fukudome against lefties. If you add in his bad OF defense, it just isn’t a good fit…not that an aversion to bad defense is stopping them now with Hoffpauir the leading candidate to be a backup outfielder!

          • firealyellon 5 years ago

            haha…that would be a hilarious defensive OF to watch: Soriano/Byrd/Dye or even better Soriano/Fukudome/Dye

  22. A 1yr deal with a club option sounds good. 5 Millions plus incentives based on making the all star game, cy young votings, wins, innings pitches and strikeout milestones

  23. AkronHammer 5 years ago

    WHY!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!??!

  24. Kerry Wood
    Mark Prior
    Rich Harden
    (Ben Sheets)- maybe
    Hendry loves the risk.

    Actually I really don’t mind. Sheets has really had a year in a half of recovery and taking a shot at him to see if he goes back to his old dorm would be a good risk. Plus the we can’t have the White Sox have a better rotation. I do disagree though I would put Sheets as a #4 starter.

    Zambrano
    Lilly
    Dempster
    Sheets
    Wells

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      I wouldnt mind Sheets at all if it werent for bigger holes elseware; and that is where the problem comes in.

    • fitz 5 years ago

      Assuming he can still pitch like the Ben Sheets of old he is probably your ace maybe your #2 definitely not #4.

  25. Darrylx77 5 years ago

    This borders on the line of being crazy. Let me throw a few names at everyone. Mark Prior, Kerry Woods, Rich Harden, Mike Harkey, and the collapse of the 1985 Chicago Cubs starting Rotation. I love my Cubs. But if the Cubs sign Ben Sheets for 10 million dollars a year this borders on crazy.

    I think that Ben Sheets is a tremendous talent, but I’ve seen to much of this in the past. If the Cubs invest 10 million dollars a year on Ben Sheets plus the 5 million dollar average that they are spending on Marlon Byrd, and they had a chance to sign Chone Figgins, I will be upset.

  26. fitz 5 years ago

    I’m not sure why but Sheets is one of if not my favorite pitcher and if the Sox can’t get him I’d love to see the Cubs sign him and hopefully he stays healthy…

  27. GrindOutYourABs 5 years ago

    Yo yo Ma Mister Howard Megdal—please refrain from pimping for “newly acquired” Carlos Silva….he can wait in line behind Tom Gorzellany and Jeffy the ex-Notre Dame wideout with the goofy name and Sean Marshall and whatever other “down on the farms” might emerge this March in Mesa….How do you say “mop up duty” in Venezuela?….The Astros got El Caballo…We got El Janitor…..Clean up on Aisle Common Sense H-Meg.

  28. EVERY CUB FAN READ: The thing about the front office with the cubs is they are extremely REACTIVE when it comes to signing players. They don’t seem to take a very universalistic approach to building a winner instead they jump at the free agent of the moment (international or otherwise) and just blindly throw money at them.

    In regards to Ben Sheets, this news is merely a reaction to hearing that Ted Lilly is not going to be ready to go by season’s start. What do they do? Go after a pitcher that costs the most with the highest amount of upside as well as risk (ie downside) and hope it works out. I’m pretty sure cubs fans can tell you how these types of senarios have historically worked out.

    CUBS NEEED HITTING!! Pitching was very solid last year and with the emergence of Randy Wells, it’s in pretty good shape. Gorzellany is gonna prove to be a nice asset next year. HENDRY if you’re gonna spend 12 million on a pitcher, why not get a guy like ERIK BEDARD!?! Or…even better spend HALF THAT (or less) and get a guy like Garland, Looper, PADILLA, Davis, or Washburn. Use the rest to get a BAT/Utility Guy like Felipe Lopez, Xavier Nady, Orlando Hudson, or Adam LaRoche! Cubs need a guy who can get on base in front of LEE and RAMIREZ and Fontenot, Byrd or Fukodome just aren’t what the cubs need potentially batting in the all important #2 hole. Your thoughts CUBS FANS???

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      Some of us Cub fans are painfully aware of the Cubs reactive stance! It ranges from pursuing players who had career years the year before to the overreaction to get left-handed bats after getting shut down by the Dodgers righty pitchers in the playoffs in 2008.In addition to this reactive stance, the Cubs have an unsual obsession with middle relief and middle infielders, so as much as we would like another bat we aren’t hopeful that the Cubs will get one. Third thing is that because of irresponsible free agent signings the Cubs really don’t have the money to land many of the players you listed. The Cubs aren’t going to pay 12M for Sheets and certainly not for Bedard. They won’t pay 6M for guys like Looper or Davis either when they have a guy like Gorzelanny who should match their performance at a fraction of the cost. Their interest in Sheets is contingent on signing him to an incentive-laden deal. And, unlike most of the pitchers you mentioned, his upside easily surpasses the upside of Gorzelanny, making the Cubs feel it would be worth the risk. In acquiring Sheets, the Cubs are looking ahead to playoff possibilities, however unlikely that may be right now.

      • First off, Cubs should NOT be looking at playoff possibilities right now. They should do that midway through near the trading deadline. As for your thinking on an incentive laden deal, this would be the single reason why the cubs don’t stand a shot at signing Sheets. It’s flat out wishful thinking to think Sheets is gonna sign a deal like that, and if for some reason he does, the cubs are not gonna be the only ones at the negotiating table.

        • crunchy1 5 years ago

          Whether they should or shouldn’t be looking at playoff possibilities is irrelevant. Whether I think it is unlikely they make the playoffs (For the record, I do think it’s unlikely at this point) is also irrelevant. What’s relevant is that Hendry is on a short leash and Piniella is in his last year and they believe they are going to make one more run at a title. It isn’t what some of us Cub fans would necessarily choose, but that’s the reality of the situation.

          And the simple answer regarding an incentive laden deal is this: If Sheets doesn’t sign for an incentive laden deal then the Cubs aren’t interested – if for no other reason than it will be outside their budget limitations. They’ll either pocket the money or, much to my dismay, spend it on yet another middle reliever.

          Now, if you’re asking me what the Cubs should do (given their budget restraints and knowing that most of the names on your list fall outside that range) that’s a completely different matter. I’d prefer the Cubs get a couple of bench OF bats because Fukudome can’t hit lefties and Soriano is a significant injury risk. If and when Soriano gets hurt, I’m not looking forward to seeing Baker move to LF (in a possible platoon with Hoffpauir) and seeing Blanco split 2b with Fontenot. The same principle applies if and when ARam gets hurt. Baker moves to third and we’ll see a Fontenot/Blanco platoon at second…not exactly a lineup that will strike fear into the hearts of our division rivals.

        • cubnation 5 years ago

          Brian, if you think sheets is going to sign for anything remotely close to his demands then you are completely off your rocker. If you think he will be signed for 2 years an guart’d between 15-20 mil then you are off your rocker. No one will give him a 2 year deal unless it is something in the 5-10 mil range. He WILL sign an incentive laden contract and it WILL be one year. will we be the only ones at the table? no, but i’m assuming there are few teams out there willing to outbid our idiot of a GM. Yeah, good move to sign him to an incentive laden contract (innings pitched). bad,bad,bad idea if we over pay

          • What’s that? Cubs are trying to sign John Rocker? I’m not gonna PRETEND to know what’s going on in the heads of the cubs front office unlike what many others are doing. Incentive-laden, non-incentive laden blah blah blah. What I am certain of is this; whoever signs Ben Sheets will either pay little and get little, pay a lot and get little or pay a lot and get a lot. That being said, is this worth it??

  29. karatemanchan37 5 years ago

    OVERPAY

  30. Yeah its probably overpaying by quite a bit but who knows. If he went to the Cardinals he would end up winning 15 games and have a sub 3.00 ERA. For us he will probably be lucky to pitch 30 innings with an over 5.00 ERA. Hope I am wrong. Still better than Carlos Silva.

  31. invader3k 5 years ago

    As a Brewers fan, while I would hate to see Sheets with the Cubs, you guys can probably have him at this point. He didn’t pitch last season, obviously, but also hasn’t pitched a full season since 2004. Yes, as in nearly six years ago. Supposedly he won’t do a public workout for anyone and wants to get paid about the same as he did in 2008 (where he got hurt right before the end of the season, and did not pitch in the playoffs…thanks again, Benny).

    Yeah, good luck with that guy. Yes, when he’s healthy and doesn’t have an inner ear infection or finger blister, he can be amazing. But ultimately he will let you down and disappoint you. Have fun with that.

  32. cdheer 5 years ago

    Since we have no idea what the Cubs are going to offer, why is everyone screaming “overpay?” My favorite is the comment that we’re going to give him $10m/year, when the actual article above says he’s asking for less than that.

    Ah, Cub fans.

    • cubnation 5 years ago

      exactly. i’m a cubs fan and will be the first to tell you that we have sooooo many ill-informed (or outright uninformed) fans out there that just run the mouth way too much!

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      The post on this site is a little unclear. The actual article says this: “Sheets reportedly has been asking for a two-year deal averaging around $10 million to $12 million per year, but the Cubs believe they have a good shot at landing him with an incentive-laden deal.”That figure is “per year” and that’s why I imagine most Cub fans are in panic mode. That and the fact that they’ve seen Hendry give out ridiculous contracts in the past. I guess you have to be a Cub fan to understand that deep-rooted fear that has festered in our minds in the past few years! That being said, a lot of people skipped the all important second part of that statement. The Cubs have no intention of paying Sheets that much. They don’t have the money in the budget to do so even if they wanted to sign Sheets to that kind of contract. Thus the key phrase, “incentive-laden deal”.Which leads me to another gross misunderstanding I’ve read on this thread — that the Cubs should have just kept Harden. Harden was eligible for arbitration and would have likely been awarded 10M guaranteed had the Cubs offered. That figure was outside the Cubs budget and, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why it would be okay to dole out that kind of guaranteed money for another injury risk but it’s a horrible idea to sign Sheets to an incentive-laden deal! I can understand when people say the Cubs have bigger holes to fill than starting pitching. That’s another matter. But I don’t get the “we should have just kept Harden” nonsense.

      • cubnation 5 years ago

        I completely concur on your analysis of keeping harden around. it would have been a bad move at an even worse price. it was time to move on

  33. cubnation 5 years ago

    Calm down everyone. We are not going to pay him 12 mil, 10 mil or even 7 or 8 mil guar up front. My guess is that with incentives he will have the opportunity to make 10 mill but the big incentive will be reaching 180 – 200 innings pitched and thats just not going to happen. If he does hit 200 innings and pitches with his best stuff all season then he will be our #1 (easily) and probably be in the running for the NL CY award. He would easily be worth 10 mil at that point. It just wont happen. Regardless fellas, this is a risk worth taking. Guar him 3 mil and I would bet you would get your moneys worth.

    At this point I would be ok with Hendry making a deal and moving 2 of marshall, gruez, samardija and/or a number of other prospects for a quality middle infielder with high OBP to bat up towards the top. that was the problem last year (among many). I think marshall has reached his potential and a guy like samardija just isnt getting better in our system. It happens a lot.

  34. I agree with the general public here, why let Harden go to sign Sheets? Maybe it’s not that they let him go, maybe Harden wanted to sign elsewhere. Harden is from British Columbia, if I’m correct, and his brother was a former Vancouver Canuck, so maybe he wanted to play closer to home. Why not, right?

    If anything, Sheets makes perfect sense for the Mets, who need a top of the rotation starter. I’m not sold on Pineiro, I still think he’s a product of Dave Duncan. As a Yankee fan, I’d love to see Sheets as a Met. The Cubs are better off making a run at Bedard.

    • cubnation 5 years ago

      bedard would not be a good fit in chicago (one of the biggest sports fish bowls in the world). he doesnt handle the media and pressure well. I remember reading an article on this a while back. sounds to me like he will fold under the weight of the NY, Chicago, LA markets. thats why he’s been in baltimore and seattle

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        Good point. The Cubs had a bad experience with Bradley. I don’t think they want to go down that road again! Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson in that regard. Being media-friendly is becoming something of a requirement at Wrigley. He isn’t going to get away with things like, “Stupid question, next?” as he has frequently been known to say. The Chicago media would make his life miserable. First of all, they ask stupid questions all the time; Bedard won’t answer them, and then the media would rake him over the coals for being a “jerk”. I agree with you here. We don’t need that drama again. Bedard is a fine pitcher when healthy, but his personality would be a problem

        • cubnation 5 years ago

          exactly!!!

          oh for a guy like Roy Oswalt! How does a guy like that stay in mediocre Houston that long? Honestly?

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      “…why let Harden go to sign Sheets?”Because Harden was eligible for arbitration and it’s been estimated he would have received 10M guaranteed. The Cubs would like to sign Sheets for half of that (or even less), in an incentive-laden deal. It would be a better risk at that kind of money then Harden would be at 10M. Another reason is that Harden has a tear in his shoulder and it has greatly affected his ability to throw his slider and/or splitter. In fact, he abandoned it late last year. He has increasingly relied on two pitches over the past few years because it hurts to throw anything but a fastball or a change. The compromise is this: Harden either throws his full repertoire in pain and at greater risk of injury…and lasts about 5 innings per start — OR he pitches with his fastball/change combo, which is less painful and allows him to go further in games, but it makes him a less effective pitcher. Most pitchers with two pitches are relievers. There are exceptions to this rule – Dwight Gooden comes immediately to mind as a two pitch starter – but no one is under the illusion that Harden’s fastball/combo today is nearly as effective as Gooden’s fastball/curve combo was in his prime. Especially when you factor in that Harden no longer throws 95 mph consistently as he did early in his career (he’s at 91-92 now). Despite putting up decent numbers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine him being the elite pitcher he once had the potential to be. Conversely, the Cubs are banking that a fully healthy Sheets, unlike Harden, can go deeper into games, especially come the end of the season when the Cubs hope to be in contention..in, other words, they are hoping he becomes a top of the rotation starter. It’s the same thing the Mets would be hoping for. Is it a realistic hope? Maybe not. But it’s a risk that a team with a “win-now” philosophy like the Cubs are apparently willing to take.

  35. cubsfan4life 5 years ago

    i like the idea you have nothing to lose my signing him and i think he has been a pretty good pitcher over the years… and if he does not do good well he will be there to help with the younger pitchers

  36. cubsfan25 5 years ago

    For once I actually like what Hendry is doing, for two reasons:

    1. Because Ted Lilly is going to be out until late-April, and I like THIS rotation:

    Carlos Zambrano
    Ben Sheets
    Ryan Dempster
    Randy Wells
    Tome Gorzelanny

    Better than THIS rotation:

    Carlos Zambrano
    Ryan Dempster
    Randy Wells
    Tom Gorzelanny
    Carlos Silva

    And 2. Look at his strikeout to walk ratio:

    2001: 94-48
    2002: 170-70
    2003: 157-43
    2004: 264-32
    2005: 141-25
    2006: 116-11 (Only pitched 17 games, but c’mon)
    2007: 106-37
    2008: 158-47

  37. jadestaup 5 years ago

    Imagine this for one second:

    Sheets
    Peavy
    Harden
    Dempster
    Lilly

    And to think this could have been acomplished.

    • jadestaup 5 years ago

      I meant

      Sheets
      Peavy
      Zambrano
      Dempster
      Harden

      • cubsfan4life 5 years ago

        that would have been pretty nice but lilly was are best pitcher lst year i think big z sucked and peavy was hurt and sheets really didnt even pitch last year so if you think about that i would be scared to death if that was 1-5 we really wouldnt know what we would have or get

      • cubnation 5 years ago

        possible? yes. reasonable? no………………………. just imagine what we would have had to give up to get Peavy when we were pursueing him. At the least vitters, castro, marshall and a cast of other prospects. not to mention the 3rd team we would of had to go through to make it work. not reasonable at all

  38. avidcubsfan 5 years ago

    Is there any move that the Cubs would make that you genius’ would fine worthy? It seems like no matter what the team does, you all poo poo the idea.

    • firealyellon 5 years ago

      rec’d (for most misguided use of an apostrophe i’ve seen in a while)

      • avidcubsfan 5 years ago

        Is that all you got?? How about a lucid answer to the question?

  39. Guest 5 years ago

    Oh man.. Okay, now Im actually feeling sorry for Cubs fans.. Their GM is really doing some bad things to their organization. Once again.. Cubs are gonna look good on paper and thats it. BEN SHEETS IS A HUGE INJURY RISK!!! Your gonna sign him and he will pitch 3 games for you and be out. Promise.

  40. garrett18 5 years ago

    This may come back in bite us in the ass if we sign Sheets but Jimbo loves the injury prone pitchers to have there come back season for us then get rid of them the following year (Harden) But I say go for it if it works out We have a good rotation and if doesn’t work out then it’s Just Jimbo being Jimbo.

    We if we do sign him please make it a 1 year contract with a player/Club option for year 2 with incentives if he stays healthy.

  41. disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

    I’m sure a healthy Sheets would help, but we need HITTERS. A lead off man and some talent on the bench would help also.
    Jim Hendry has to make some moves to try to win the NL Central THIS YEAR !
    D. Lee, A. Ramirez, and Ted Lilly could all be gone by this time next year.
    I would like to see the Cubs get Orlando Hudson in here on a 2 year deal, if there is any money left. I can’t be the only one who does not want 162 games of a Fontenot/Baker platoon at 2nd base.

    • Jiujitsu411420 5 years ago

      You are defenitely not the only 1. I have been wanting them to acquire him the last 2 years. I just feel like his attitude would fit well in our clubhouse along with his gritty playing style. He could even solve our leadoff problem though I would stick him in the 2 hole in front of Lee.

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      “I can’t be the only one who does not want 162 games of a Fontenot/Baker platoon at 2nd base.”You’re not. Ideally Baker is a utility guy and the Cubs have to pick and choose matchups when it comes to Fontenot so he’s not overmatched. Two part-timers instead of one solid regular…not a great situation, especially when one of those part-timers is also your backup to Ramirez and you’re only bench RH outfielder.Whether they have the money to get Hudson is a completely different matter. It seems like they don’t. They haven’t been connected to Hudson or any second baseman at all. That’s understandable considering their budget constraints (although they created those problems to begin with), but what I can’t understand is why they insist on using whatever resources they have left on a relief pitcher. They definitely need OF help off the bench. They can’t count on their big bats to stay healthy. But here is my two cents, for what it’s worth: I think that the Cubs are just going all in. It’s Piniella’s last year and Hendry needs to win big to keep his job. My guess is that if Soriano, A-Ram, and Lee get hurt then they feel like they’re not going to win anyway…so why bother with a decent bench? I don’t agree with it, but I think that’s how it is. Hendry’s trying to win the lotto. What he wants is immediate, short term needs. He doesn’t want to wait to see if one of their many BP arms pan out, he’s not thinking big picture in case key players get hurt. He’s trying to fill in pieces as if the team is staying together and hope for the best. After all, he’ll probably lose his job if he doesn’t win it all. Piniella is likely in his last year. It doesn’t matter to them if the team stays competitive or eeks into the playoffs with 4th outfielders then gets ousted in the first round. The Cubs are going for broke…WS or bust. And I think we all have an idea on how that’s probably going to turn out!

  42. There’s absolutely no way any FA left gets more than $10MM a year. ST starts in a month, the market is dwindling…

  43. studio179 5 years ago

    Sheets is fine if it is a 1-2 year incentive deal. If it means the inability to upgrade the bench better than what I am currently looking at on the roster, than no. I don’t expect frontline guys on the bench. They would not be on the bench. But this corps is weak.

  44. Macfan1 5 years ago

    “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. ”

    Sheets is a Greedy Pig, dude hasnt’ pitched since 2008, no one knows what his arm is really like and he wants 10-12 million.

    Newsflash oink, oink you usually can command a salary when you are healthy, on the field and winning games. Get with the program.

    I was wondering why no one had signed him yet, now I see why. I would love to see the stupid team that gives him a guaranteed 10-12 million dollar deal.

  45. sanderson13 5 years ago

    “Cubs To Make Run At Sheets”

    Sounds messy, somebody call the cleaning service!

    Hiyo!

  46. Muggi 5 years ago

    It’s almost like Sheets (or his agent) doesn’t WANT to sign. They have to know he’s not going to get $10m per after missing all of last year, with HIS injury history? How many full seasons has he made it through? 4 of the 7 since being a full-timer by my recollection.

    Maybe he’s not really healthy, and trying to establish a high bar for mid-season pickup? Crazy idea, I know, but this just doesn’t make any sense.

  47. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 5 years ago

    If no one signs Sheets do you guys think he will come down on price just to play? He was one of the best in the game….so I’m thinking a 1 year deal like everyone else says with incentives…see if he can come back and pitch a full season then give him his real $ contract next year…cant see why is is asking so much right now…

  48. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 5 years ago

    Give him a Mark Prior contract… “1 Million dollars” (says with mini me voice and pinky pointed to the outside of his lip)

  49. Guest 5 years ago

    Hey sheetsy…how ’bout being realistic?1 Year/6m with 4m incentives and a 12m mutual option/with a 1.5m buyout

  50. shandogg 5 years ago

    As a brewers fan I am loving this.

  51. BlueCatuli 5 years ago

    Just because the Cubs don’t like the asking price doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. Just like every other year, a free agent has a ridiculous asking price and a team stays in contact until it comes down and that team gets a huge bargain. Orlando Hudson last offseason is a great example. I see a team holding out on this one and getting a deal. I hope its the Cubbies.

  52. This bears repeating tenfold. Thank you, sir.

    Removed! :(

  53. This bears repeating tenfold. Thank you, sir.

    Removed! :(

  54. bravesirrobin 5 years ago

    Well either he has zero confidence in his ability to stay healthy and sees this as his last big pay-day or Sheets is insane/

  55. bravesirrobin 5 years ago

    Well either he has zero confidence in his ability to stay healthy and sees this as his last big pay-day or Sheets is insane/

  56. losingfaithinmightymelvin 5 years ago

    Sheets is insane. This is the guy that DIDNT accept Arby from MIL, that woulda netted him 10mil, when he knew full well he needed surgery. Instead he thought he could get MORE from Texas, and actually would have, but forgot he had to pass a physical before Texas shelled out the dough, forcing sheets to not ride the pine, instead the recliner for 2009 and that deal netted him NADA…..insane!

  57. losingfaithinmightymelvin 5 years ago

    Sheets is insane. This is the guy that DIDNT accept Arby from MIL, that woulda netted him 10mil, when he knew full well he needed surgery. Instead he thought he could get MORE from Texas, and actually would have, but forgot he had to pass a physical before Texas shelled out the dough, forcing sheets to not ride the pine, instead the recliner for 2009 and that deal netted him NADA…..insane!

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