Dec
05

Sheets to the wind

By

With GM Brian Cashman set to meet with CC Sabathia and the market for A.J. Burnett taking shape, Ben Sheets’ name has popped up in Yankee rumors for the first time this Hot Stove season. “There’s increasing buzz,” wrote Jayson Stark, “about the Yankees’ interest in Ben Sheets, possibly an indication that they’re not confident they’re going to be able to sign Burnett. A few RAB tipsters have noted a similar vein of discussion on Michael Kay’s ESPN radio show as well. We like Sheets. Hopefully, the Yankees do too.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League

165 Comments»

  1. Yank Crank 20 says:

    Milwaukee would really love us if we found a way to hijack CC and Sheets.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      Good. Those are the two pitchers I want. Sheets on a short deal is way better than AJ on a long one even if the per year dollars are higher.

      I know Sheets has injury issues etc (like AJ does not) but I think he pitched around 200 innings this year. If we got both of these guys it would make me feel better just in case the Brewers got something real nice with the draft pics we have to give them for CC.

      CC and Sheets is way better than any other combo of pitchers we could get via free agency.

      Truthfully I would be happy if we just got Sheets and spent that CC money elsewhere if need be (Manny and another pitcher).

  2. colin says:

    YES! sabathia, sheets and pettitte. thats what we need. dunn would be treat too

  3. radnom says:

    Finally…and I finally saw a rumor linking us to Baldelli for the first time yesterday too…

    I know the NYDN is taboo around here, but this is actually a pretty decent article on Burnett….I wonder if they used baseball-reference.com…

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blo.....t-ris.html

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      As much as I like Baldelli I really think putting together a bench starting with a guy with an odd muscle disease when we are not required to do so by law could be a really horrible move.

      • radnom says:

        an odd disease and superstar talent.

        Seriously a guy with the talent to be a great player is regulated to being a (relatively)cheap role player and you wouldn’t want him?

        • Ed says:

          He had the talent to be a great player. His body is incapable of providing his muscles with enough energy to play an entire game. When he does play, it takes days to recover.

          If you want him on the team, you have to treat his playing time like you would a pitcher’s. He’s not worth a roster spot, especially not on a team full of old players with injury issues.

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

            “He’s not worth a roster spot, especially not on a team full of old players with injury issues.”

            That is my point exactly. Thanks for saying it better than I did.

          • radnom says:

            Yeah, because Justin Christian is better option.
            It isn’t like we have a million guys like him wating in AAA in the event that someone went down and needed someone to sub on a full time basis.

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

              I hear what you are saying. If we could get him for nothing and cut him whenever because we do not care about his $ I am ok with that, but as a solution to our bench problems NO sir. Even as a 4th OF I do not see it. A 4th OF needs to be able to play for a little bit of length with all the old guys and bad fielders in our OF.

              One year $500K fine. But there are at least 3 or 4 other teams interested in the guy so I do not see that happening.

            • Ed says:

              Baldelli’s value to the Yankees would simply be pinch hitting for Melky/Gardner late in the game. You then shift Damon to center and put Baldelli in left.

              If the game goes into extra innings, you pinch hit for Baldelli because he’s not going to have the stamina to stay in the game.

              If you don’t have Matsui on the roster, you can probably get away with that. Do you really want 2 DH/PH/occasional OF guys on the roster?

              His value is on a team like the Rays where just about everyone is young and doesn’t need much time off. Or on an NL team where you’re swapping players a lot anyway.

  4. pete c. says:

    I always liked Sheets over Burnett, if for no more reason than to me he looks more like a “gamer” than Burnett. I always got the impression that Burnett wasn’t going out on the hill unless he was 100%. Just an impression.
    the only thing abouty Sheets I don’t like is when watching him pitch his motion is almost violent, he’s doesn’t seem smooth at all, like a David Cone or Jimmy Key I realize they’re differant pitchers in style but watching him pitch just makes me think his injuries are due to his mechanics than anything else.

    • steve (different one) says:

      i would love to see the Yankees sign Sheets to a two year deal.

      that said…..Ben Sheets? not a “gamer”.

    • NYFan50 says:

      He’s a gamer that averages a lot less innings per year.

      Sheets is great when he’s healthy. He’s fantastic when he’s healthy. But I don’t understand the RAB preference of Sheets over Burnett. It’s great that he’ll take less years and probably less money than Burnett. That’s the only advantage of signing him over Burnett. But 1) he HAS been pitching in the NL, and that’s at the very least notable regardless of his stats and 2) In his last 4 years he’s averaged like 150 innings or so (to Burnett’s 182).

      Personally I’d rather pay a premium for Burnett than opt for Sheets. Sheets has been injured every year the past 4 straight years. EVERY YEAR!

      • radnom says:


        He’s a gamer that averages a lot less innings per year.

        That is just completely and horribly not true.

        Average up their innings over the last 6 years and see which is higher.

      • radnom says:

        Your cutoff of fours years conveniently ends right before Sheets had 3 straight 200+ win seasons.
        But I agree that the more recent past should be considered heavily.
        The thing is no one here would want Sheets either at the type of deal Burnett is going to get.
        And, despite being injured, Sheets did post 190 innings last season.
        And is a better pitcher.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          “But I agree that the more recent past should be considered heavily.”

          So maybe “just completely and horribly not true” was a bit over an overreation?

          • radnom says:

            Notice I had two replies, the first one was a quick reaction to the first line he wrote, thinking he was refering to their overall careers.
            A lot of Brunett supports seem to be under that misconception.

            Then, upon reading the rest of what he wrote, I had to respond differently.
            :)

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

              I know, I know, sorry. Just thought the first response was a little unfair and you didn’t explicitly retract it in your second commment. Calling someone’s comment “completely and horribly untrue” is pretty strong, I just think you should be pretty strong you can absolutely, conclusively prove it if you use words like that.

        • Nady Nation says:

          “Your cutoff of fours years conveniently ends right before Sheets had 3 straight 200+ win seasons”

          Wow, 600 wins within 3 years?! What is Cashman waiting for! Ink Sheets now!

        • NYFan50 says:

          Yes, I cut off after his healthy years. It looks as though his healthy years are behind him. If he’d been healthy in any of the past 4 years then I wouldn’t even bother posting. My point is that you can’t count on him. Not anymore. He’s just not a healthy guy.

  5. Todd says:

    Ben. A belated “thank you” for that poignant Sheets vs Burnett write-up I just read for the first time. Before a few minutes ago, it was a no brainer for me that Sheets should not even be considered. But your detailed analysis blew that out of the water and his late season arm problems just might be one of the biggest blessings for the Yanks. The irony is that he just might come relatively cheaply.

    Again, thank you and EXCELLENT work!

  6. Fredo C says:

    Sheets has a 3.75 career ERA in the NL, hasn’t been dominant for about 4 years, and finished the ’08 season INJURED. What’s the fascination???

    • Mike A. says:

      Yeah, but he’s got a 3.24 ERA over his last five seasons. Like everyone else, he took a pounding in his first few years in the bigs.

    • steve (different one) says:

      he has fantastic stuff.

      i was all over that thread making the case for Burnett but for me, everything starts with Sabathia.

      if they sign Sabathia, and i assume they will sign Pettitte, i think they would be in a decent position to take a chance with Sheets. i think they have enough depth to add a high-risk/high reward guy like Sheets b/c you know that Sabathia, Wang, and Pettitte should combine to give you 600+ innings.

      signing Sabathia is such a huge pressure-relieving move for their pitching staff.

      • TurnTwo says:

        absolutely agree.

        and to be honest, if we go into a season with that kind of staff, you prob dont need to add any offense right now, unless it comes at a great deal… like too good to believe kind of deal.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

        “i was all over that thread making the case for Burnett but for me, everything starts with Sabathia. if they sign Sabathia, and i assume they will sign Pettitte, i think they would be in a decent position to take a chance with Sheets.”

        I agree and I think you and I see this situation the same way. My interest in Burnett has always been conditioned on the Yankees first/also locking up Sabathia and Pettitte. I figure that if you’ve got CC, Wang and Pettitte each penciled into the rotation, with Joba penciled in but for fewer innings, you would be best served by taking a shot at the “higher-ceilinged” player for that last rotation slot (i.e. I argued Burnett over Lowe because I believe Burnett has the higher ceiling, which I know is a belief that is debatable and with which many people disagree). Honestly, Sheets scares me because I lack faith that he’ll be healthy (again, I know people feel this way about Burnett, but Sheets’ injury history/future scares me more than Burnett’s), but if the Yanks could lock up Sheets on a shorter-term contract than it would take to land AJ, I think I like that signing.

        • …but if the Yanks could lock up Sheets on a shorter-term contract than it would take to land AJ, I think I like that signing.

          Ultimately, I think that’s what makes me keep picking Sheets over Burnett. They both have upside, they both have risks. You slightly prefer the upside of Burnett and are more scared of the risk of Sheets, I prefer the upside of Sheets and I’m more scared of the risk of Burnett.

          The contract is the tiebreaker.

          Sheets on a 2+1, 3, or 3+1 is just less risky than Burnett on a 4+1 or 5.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

            Agreed. The other stuff we’re arguing about (i.e. the discussion below re durability) is just noise. I’m not saying the Yankees should sign Burnett for 5 years OVER signing Sheets for 2. I still think Sheets is the bigger injury risk (and has been demonstrably less durable over the very relevant time-frame of the last 4 years), but I’m not saying the Yanks shouldn’t sign the guy.

    • Joseph P. says:

      He was pretty damn dominant in 2008.

    • Sheets has a 3.75 career ERA in the NL, hasn’t been dominant for about 4 years, and finished the ‘08 season INJURED. What’s the fascination???

      A) He’s been a better pitcher than Burnett in all measurements–in terms of total career, the recent past, at his best, and at his worst. Seriously, this isn’t really that close. Go back and look them up again and try to make an argument that Burnett is the better pitcher… you can’t do it without extreme disingenuous stat-mining.
      B) He’s more durable than Burnett. Again, this is pretty hands down.
      C) He’s a year and a half younger than Burnett.
      D) He’s looking for a shorter contract length than Burnett.
      E) Combining C and D, we’d be paying for fewer advanced-age-years with Sheets over Burnett.
      F) He can probably be had for a lower AAV than Burnett.

      That enough?

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

        Love the name change. Correct on all points here.
        Is it bizarro world today?

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

        “B) He’s more durable than Burnett. Again, this is pretty hands down.”

        No, it’s not “hands down”, and it’s actually a very arguable point. Over the last four years (call it cherry-picking if you will, but the point stands), AJ Burnett has pitched more innings than Ben Sheets and has 2 200+ IP seasons to his credit (while Sheets has one approximately 200 IP season to his credit – 2008, when he barely missed the 200 IP threshold and ended the season injured).

        (The four year timeframe is a bit arbitrary I suppose, but when you look at Sheets’ career it makes sense. From ’02-’04 he was a horse, but the last four seasons have been injury-riddled, to say the least. There’s a decided, “hands down” change in Sheets’ career, durability-wise, post ’04.)

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

          I guess you can argue either side of that one but if you have to risk a five year deal to get AJ or a 2 or 3 year deal for Sheets at similar money I think the risk overall is much worse for the AJ deal.

          I do think dude was talking about his whole career and not just a cherrypicked set number of years.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

            “I do think dude was talking about his whole career and not just a cherrypicked set number of years.”

            That’s fine, and I stipulated in my argument that, at its most basic, the 4-year period is arbitrary. But those are the 4 most recent seasons leading up to the hypothetical/prospective signing of one of these guys. Leave the argument over the use of the 4-year timeframe aside for a moment… Would you argue that, over the last 4 years, Ben Sheets has been more durable than AJ Burnett? I’d like to hear that argument.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

              …crickets…

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

              “Would you argue that, over the last 4 years, Ben Sheets has been more durable than AJ Burnett? I’d like to hear that argument.”

              No but again with the risk involved I take Sheets. I think he is the better of the two pitchers when healthy. Both are a risk any way you slice it.

              Off topic but are you related to Raul at all?

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                I AM Raul, you insignificant peon!

                PS: I’m not talking about who you would choose. The question was solely about who has been more durable over the last 4 years.

                • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

                  “I AM Raul” How is retired life going for you buddy? Missed you at the old timers games. Glad to see you get out of dodge before any names PED whispers started.

                  “The question was solely about who has been more durable over the last 4 years.”

                  Actually that was your question that you made and I choose not to look at the overall big picture based on that question. Who has pitched more innings and all that is not something you have to ask me you can look that up yourself but I take it you have some data to back up the answer we all know what it is buddy. You have unearthed no gem of Indiana Jones purport ions.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  “Who has pitched more innings and all that is not something you have to ask me you can look that up yourself but I take it you have some data to back up the answer we all know what it is buddy. You have unearthed no gem of Indiana Jones purport ions.”

                  Witty and germane as always. Sigh.

                • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

                  Im not Germane dammit im Tito.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  http://www.instantrimshot.com/

                  Ok… THAT one worked. More Tito Jackson jokes, less nonsensical jokes, please.

                • You have unearthed no gem of Indiana Jones purport ions

                  heh, that was funny and yet totally not for the reason you wanted it to be funny.

                • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

                  Glad to find the ceiling of humor in the place resides sub sea level.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  “Glad to find the ceiling of humor in the place resides sub sea level.”

                  I don’t even know what you’re saying anymore but I’m laughing. So, I guess you’ve succeded?

                • Glad to find the ceiling of humor in the place resides sub sea level.

                  [facepalm]

                  Dude, you said “purport ions”. Not proportions, but “purport ions”. Most people make a typo and end up with something unintelligible; you made a typo and actually wrote two whole and accurate English words that mangled the meaning you intended while still retaining a semblance of readability.

                  That’s all I was laughing about. It’s ironically funny, not lowbrow humor.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Glad to find the ceiling of humor in the place resides sub sea level.

                  [facepalm]“

                  I think he was referring to my enjoyment of his Tito Jackson joke. What can I say, I’m a sucker for Tito Jackson jokes.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

                  Link didn’t work… Brought me to a page that says: “Thank you for trying to steal this JPEG, GIF, SWF or MP3 at Lance and Eskimo. We are flattered that you are interested in our work. Why not check it out at lanceandeskimo.com? Please don’t fear us. :-(“

                  Busted.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

        I miss snarky.

      • Zack says:

        Again, the emphasis is on “probably.” You are trying to make a very speculative argument sound like a lock. As the last discussion of this and the one before that and before that etc pointed out, arguing for Sheets rests on taking his seasons 5 and 6 years ago over the past 4. He hasn’t been consistent or healthy for four straight seasons, and that is a major red flag.

        Sure, if the Yanks sign Sabathia, sign Sheets. At that point, i don’t really care who they sign, as their top three would just be silly good.

        But don’t be surprised if/when Sheets doesn’t live up to expectations…

        • Sure, if the Yanks sign Sabathia, sign Sheets. At that point, i don’t really care who they sign, as their top three would just be silly good.

          Exactly. When we have CC-Wang-Joba, with Hughes, IPK, Aceves, Betances, Brackman, McAllister, Sanchez, Bleich, and Coke in the system, and probably Pettitte year to year, we’re no longer talking about signing another frontline starter as a need, but just as a want.

          Our smartest move would be to gamble on the #4 starter with more upside and with a shorter contract length, so that if he doesn’t meet expectations he’s gone sooner and presents less of a future roadblock to our young guns.

          Hence, Sheets over Burnett (and Lowe).

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

            “Our smartest move would be to gamble on the #4 starter with more upside and with a shorter contract length, so that if he doesn’t meet expectations he’s gone sooner and presents less of a future roadblock to our young guns.

            Hence, Sheets over Burnett (and Lowe).”

            As much as you hate me this has been my main point of the winter. Well that and we need to sign Manny.

            • I don’t hate you. I just want you to think more analytically and disagree less disagreeably.

              But yes, we’ve both been on the same page on this all winter. Probably fall and summer, too.

              • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

                “I don’t hate you.”

                Dont get all fruity on me now.

                “I just want you to think more analytically and disagree less disagreeably.”

                I will not nor never have thought in an anal way.
                And you are a rather disagreeable disagreer as well there Senior Snark.

                “But yes, we’ve both been on the same page on this all winter. Probably fall and summer, too.”

                Unless we get Sheets and he Pavanos himself 6 or 7 games in, then we have to try to find a way to delete all web history on this matter.

  7. MS says:

    To me, we are better off signing Sheets to a 3 year deal instead of Burnett for 5 years. Both guys are injury prone, but Sheets will cost less and were locked in for 3 instead of 5 years if he got hurt. Plus, if you look at Burnett’s numbers, he was pretty average against everybody except the Yanks and Sox. Let’s hope the Braves nab him.

  8. TurnTwo says:

    Sabathia, Wang, Sheets, Pettitte, Joba? nice.

    and if/when you sign Sheets, you have backup should he need to take time on the DL during the season.

    3 years/$45 million for Sheets sound reasonable, but enough to scare away other teams from committing the same years/dollars?

    that kind of offer, he certainly couldnt turn away and accept the Brewers arbitration, right?

  9. UWS says:

    TSJC’s burrito nonwithstanding, I’ll be three sheets to the wind if something hot stovey doesn’t happen soon.

    Oh, and Sheets on a 2-3 year deal would be pretty damn nice. Perhaps 2 years with a vesting option?

  10. Fredo C says:

    Mike A:

    His ERA over the past 4 years is 3.45, rather than 3.24. Still, we’re talking about a guy who’s averaged 150 IP per season the past 4 years, has never come close to being what he was in ’04 and more importantly was hurt when the year ended.

    • TurnTwo says:

      but, id personally sign up for a 3.5 ERA from my 3/4 guy in the rotation at 150 innings, knowing you have depth to fill in for him when he does need time on the DL.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Uh, I think both of you miscalculated; Ben Sheet’s ERA averaged over the 2004-2008 seasons is 3.35. However, I don’t put as much stock into ERA as I do FIP, so looking at the latter statistic shows us that his average over the last five seasons is 3.18. Yeah, that’s pretty exceptional.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

        “Uh, I think both of you miscalculated; Ben Sheet’s ERA averaged over the 2004-2008 seasons is 3.35.”

        Actually, I think you miscalculated Sheets’ ERA over the last 4 years. 2004 is not counted in the “last 4 years.” Sheets’ ERA that season was the best of his career (and is an outlier) and shouldn’t be considered in a calculation of his ’05-’08 ERA. Sheets’ ERA over the period in question is 3.45.

        Not that it really means much, just wasting some time.

  11. A.D. says:

    The Sheets play is nice, because it seems that he’s open to a shorter and potentially more incentive driven contract, than AJ Burnett, plus he’s younger

  12. zs190 says:

    I imagine other folks caught some of Keith Law’s chat yesterday too. I believe he said that Sheets has chronic back problem and he thinks Sheets is a lot less likely to stay healthy or something to that effect. I think his stuff is comparable, but that injury risk seems a bit scary. I know on RAB, folks have said that his injuries aren’t that bad but KLaw tends to be pretty good with his stuff.

  13. Eric says:

    I like Sheets. And the more and more I think about it, the more and more I’m okay with Dunn as a plan A instead of a plan B to Tex. Here’s the lineup I’d like to see come Opening Day:

    Lineup:
    1. Damon CF
    2. Jeter SS
    3. Dunn LF
    4. Rodriguez 3B
    5. Posada C
    6. Swisher 1B
    7. Matsui DH
    8. Nady RF
    9. Cano 2B

    Rotation:
    1. Sabathia
    2. Wang
    3. Sheets
    4. Pettitte
    5. Chamberlain/Hughes “platoon”

    • Tim says:

      I think you are really overlooking the defensive nightmare that you would unleash upon us all.

      • Eric says:

        Dunn was an average left fielder by multiple systems this year and though Damon’s range is diminished, he wouldn’t be Bernie-like in center field. And even if he was, that lineup (and pitching staff) could definitely make up for average/bad defense.

      • Jamal G. says:

        I think you are overvaluing an outfielder’s arm and how relative it is to his overall defense. Johnny Damon can still go get the ball in center field, that shouldn’t be debated; however, just because his arm is putrid does not mean he can’t be an average defender out in center field when properly rested.

        Looking at that lineup, the only well-below average defender you have in the field is Derek Jeter (and potentially Jorge Posada). Everyone else is reasonably projected to give you below-to-above average defense at their respective positions.

        • Eric says:

          As much as I’m a detractor of Jeter’s defense, he was just about average by PMR this year and with the constant fluctuating states of defensive stats, I think PMR is the strongest.

  14. Bo says:

    Sheets. The guy who has more injury issues than any starter on the market and went down this yr with a tendon problem.

    Just what the Yanks need. Someone to replace Pavano in Tampas rehab.

  15. I clooooooooose myyyyyyyy eyyyyyyyyyes
    Only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
    Aaaaaaaaall myyyyyyyyyyy dreeeeeeeams
    Pass before my eyes, a curiosity

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeets in the wind
    All they are is Sheets in the wind

  16. DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

    Did anybody hear Sheets when he was on Mike and Mad Dog right before the All Star Game? Maybe a day or two before. He had never been to the Stadium and seemed to not care or understand the history etc. I would normally find this to be very bad but the way he was talking I took it as a good thing like he would not be overwhelmed by anything.

    It does amaze me to some peoples quotes on their lack of baseball history knowledge. I recall reading somewhere that Donnie Baseball thought that Babe Ruth with a fictitious character. I guess Donnie was not old enough to see the Babe play in all his hot dog eatin glory.

    • Ben K. says:

      As much as I loved him as a player, the word on the street is that Donnie’s not exactly the brightest crayon in the box.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

        I think that is an incorrect assumption. He does not speak well that is for sure. He grew up in VERY small town Indiana.

        If you have ever read or hear him talk at length the guy is smart just not well educated.

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

          Never went to college, etc. Has bad grammer. That is what I meant by “not well educated” just in case somebody has an issue with my choice of words.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

            Somewhere, Bob Ogilvie, longtime public servant and former Headmaster at Reitz Memorial High, cries a solitary tear.

          • Eric says:

            “Has bad grammer.”

            Intentional?

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

              Maybe a poor joke?

          • Ed says:

            “Never went to college, etc. Has bad grammer.”

            How’s his spelling?

            • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

              Now that you mention it the autographed life size cardboard cut out i got off Ebay does have an extra R in his name.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

        Can we call a truce on the Donnie Baseball talk and just, like, not bring him into conversations that don’t concern him?

        (Sorry… I love Mattingly and it stings that we’re all dinging him recently. Clearly I’m a delicate flower when it comes to Mattingly).

  17. Zack says:

    I think it is a given that everyone here thinks Burnett for 5 years is a terrible idea, so can we stop throwing that around? If Burnett will ONLY sign for 5 years, then forget about him.

    But if we are talking Burnett vs. Sheets on 4 year deals, that’s a different story.

  18. Bill says:

    Where the love for Burnett.

    He is a proven winner in the AL East.

    I am just confuse as to why they do not want Burkett any more.

  19. A.D. says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12.....ref=sports

    So the guy who posted yesterday seeing Cash on a flight to DC was right on.

    • steve (different one) says:

      holy crap.

    • Mike A. says:

      From that article:

      Sabathia has not responded to the offer, but the sides have continued quietly negotiating.

      Interesting…

      • steve (different one) says:

        wait, you are saying that we don’t know EVERYTHING that goes on behind the scenes?

        that Cashman didn’t just throw an offer on the table with no “enthusiasm”?

        that Cashman might actually know that Pettitte had no intentions of going to the Dodgers?

        is that what you are saying?

      • Reggie C. says:

        I wonder if there’s any growing sense of frustration in Sabathia over not having received any actual offers from the West Coast teams his pple claim he prefers.

        Mike. Do you think Cash imposes an end of winter meetings deadline on the $140M offer? With CC’s offer hanging over this team’s budget for a while now, for it to continue to hang AFTER the winter mtgs could really hurt us.

      • Ed says:

        “Sabathia has not responded to the offer, but the sides have continued quietly negotiating.”

        What exactly does that mean?

        “140/6 may or may not be enough, I’ll think about it. But I want a bucket of KFC at my locker before every game and Girardi’s ban on junk food has got to go.”

        • steve (different one) says:

          i think it means he hasn’t responded PUBLICLY.

          • Ed says:

            That’s probably what the article meant, but it’s a stupid statement. It’s rare that players negotiate in public. Why would he?

            “Your record setting contract offer is not good enough.” – he looks like an ass.

            “Wow that’s amazing, I like your offer.” – he loses leverage.

      • Also from that article:

        “But Boras is seeking a five-year, $90 million contract for Lowe, and the Yankees have no interest in doing that.”

        You’ve gotta love Scott Boras. The man has gigantic testicles. He must wake up in the morning and do face stretching exercises to ensure that he can speak with a straight face when he tells a GM he wants 5 years and $90M for Derek Lowe.

  20. Earlier in the thread, I said that “B) He’s more durable than Burnett. Again, this is pretty hands down.” Several people pointed out that over the past 4 years, this isn’t true. My reply is, well, yes and no, it is true and it isn’t true. Perhaps “hands down” was too strong, but consider this:

    Ben Sheets, 2005-2008
    05- 22 starts, 156.7 IP
    06- 17 starts, 106.0 IP
    07- 24 starts, 141.3 IP
    08- 31 starts, 198.3 IP

    AJ Burnett, 2005-2008:
    05- 32 starts, 209.0 IP
    06- 21 starts, 135.7 IP
    07- 25 starts, 165.7 IP
    08- 34 starts, 221.3 IP

    Yes, Sheets has had 4 straight years where he’s missed time. But Burnett has missed time in two of those four years. And the total edge in starts and innings for Burnett isn’t that great. Also, this 4 year comparison is, IMO, classic stat-mining, as it conveniently cuts off the immediately preceding years where Sheets was a 32 start, 200 inning metronome, while Burnett missed two full years. And, it’s worth noting that in 2008, Sheets pitched through pain most of the year and probably should have missed more time but kept going, and that Sheets’ ’05 injury was not pitching arm related, but an infection, and likely a freak injury.

    So yes, Sheets hasn’t been more durable if you restrict the argument to the portions of Burnett’s career where he’s been “healthy”, but even during those periods, Burnett still hasn’t been all that healthy anyway. And Burnett still has yet to put together two back-to-back injury free seasons… that’s just as troubling as Sheets’ past four years.

    Oh, and Sheets also pitched better than Burnett during these four years.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      “Also, this 4 year comparison is, IMO, classic stat-mining, as it conveniently cuts off the immediately preceding years where Sheets was a 32 start, 200 inning metronome, while Burnett missed two full years.”

      Ok… I’ve thought about this a bit, and I don’t think it’s “stat-mining.” I stipulated above that choosing the last 4 years is arbitrary, but I’m taking that back now. It’s no more arbitrary than looking at their entire careers. What the peiople who are looking at the last 4 years is saying is: Up until 2005, Ben Sheets was a different guy. He was healthy and could be counted on for 200+ IP every season. But, after 2005, Ben Sheets is a different guy. He’s been injured a ton. At the same time, 2005 was AJ Burnett’s first season after he “missed 2 years,” and since that point he’s been more durable than Ben Shets.

      There is VERY good reason to look at the last 4 years, nobody’s saying something like “well look at what he did in April of 2003 and June of 2006.” If you look at the period of time from 2005 to the present day (which is not exactly a small sample size AND is the most recent period of their careers, leading to present day), AJ Burnett has been healthier and more durable than has Ben Sheets, and has participated in more baseball games during that timeframe. I think that’s VERY relevant, and I don’t think I’ll be diplomatic and srtipulate that it’s cherry-picking anymore. Isn’t looking at Ben Sheets’ numbers in 2004 cherry-picking (and probably less relevant than looking at the last 4 seasons, if you want to copmpare the two)?

      • Alright, you’ve convinced me. It’s not stat-mining or cherry-picking, as you’re right, 4 years is a considerable time-frame.

        I guess it’s just a little unseemly to me to start the comparison immediately after Burnett’s two TJS seasons were over. Not intentionally misleading, and yes, you could say you have a good reason, but it just so happens that you’re picking the 4 years where the argument stacks up heavily in Burnett’s favor.

        I, alternatively, could say that if we want a sample size that’s both significant and recent, let’s look at the past three years instead of the past four, and then you lose Burnett’s healthy 2005. If you do it that way, then you’ve got:

        Sheets:
        2006-missed a good chunk of time with injuries
        2007-missed a good chunk of time with injuries
        2008-missed a small period with injuries

        Burnett:
        2006-missed a good chunk of time with injuries
        2007-missed a good chunk of time with injuries
        2008-healthy

        So, you move the evaluation point one year, either forward or backwards, and Sheets looks much better (relative to Burnett) in either event. Which means that, as we agreed earlier, they’re both big injury risks and neither of them should be trusted too much, so the contract length is the determining factor.

        You’ve convinced me to retract the statement that Sheets is “hands down” more durable than Burnett. I’ll say they’re equally injury-prone. Fair?

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          NOT FAIR. I DEMAND TOTAL INTELLECTUAL SUBMISSION.

          Seriously though… I disagree, but that’s fair enough. I’m belaboring the point, but I still think you’re missing something here… Sure we could shift the discussion to the last 3 years instead of the last 4 years or otherwise tweak this discussion in any of a number of ways, and the “health-gap” between AJ and Sheets will be smaller, but the fact remains… There’s a definite point for both of these guys when one began a string of good health relative to the other guy (leading to the present day) and when the other began a strong of bad health relative to the other guy (leading to the present day). It happened and it leads to one conclusion: Sheets hasn’t been as healthy as AJ over the last 4 years (a relevant time-frame).

          The kicker, though, is that I think Sheets on a 2-3 year commitment is still the better choice than Burnett on a 4-5 year commitment. Honestly, I think it kind of cheapens your argument to keep arguing, contrary to the record, that Sheets really hasn’t been less-healthy than has Burnett over the last 4 years. He has been, but the respective talent-levels and likely contract commitments sway this choice (to me) to Sheets. You don’t have to make a strained argument that Sheets has been as healthy as Burnett lately to advocate Sheets’ signing.

          You can say Sheets has been less durable/healthy than AJ over the last 4 years and still advocate a Sheets signing over a Burnett signing.

  21. Reggie C. says:

    Everybody check out the BP article: GM for a day – NY Yankees – by Jay jaffe

    Its up right now with Teixeira being called the “cure”. Great read.

  22. DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

    Would Brewer fans that do not have an AL team to root for suddenly turn to Yanks fans if we nab both CC and Sheets and somehow do the awful trade for Cameron?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      A) Nice work on the new name. (You still suck, of course.) (Kidding.)

      B) Not a chance in hell.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

        Gracias Raul.

        I do however disagree with you assessment of the core demographic of brewers fans. They are a highly cultured people who while not acting out real life versions of the scrips from Lavern and Shirley have a keen need to root for a team that might one day win a couple of games in the playoffs.

        Their teams former owner Bud (and all around good used car salemen) would also find it neato that he could watch all the good players on his former team by just going on a quick subway ride. He would not even have to muss his five dollar hair cut one bit.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          No. Dude, I’m telling you… I’ve lived in the midwest and people out there hate NY and especially hate the Yankees. They’ll hate them more for signing those guys, not start rooting for them.

          • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

            Sir, I watched Raul Mondesi: I knew Raul Mondesi; Raul Mondesi was a friend of mine. Sir, you’re no Raul Mondesi!

            No way has Raul ever lived in the Midwest.

            BTW I was just kidding about the whole thingy there bud.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

              “No way has Raul ever lived in the Midwest.”

              Trust me, Pittsburgh’s the midwest.

              • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations says:

                Do we need to break out a map on this piece?

                Evansville Indiana now THAT son is the midwest.

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