A lot of moves have gone down this off season within the AL West, and for the most part the Oakland A’s weren’t a part of them. Sitting on more money than a lot of clubs, I guess they are being somewhat selective with their signings. Last year they took awhile to get into the market, but found great value in some of the players that hadn’t been signed yet. There’s still plenty of time to add more players to the mix and make a splash, but today they signed free agent Ben Sheets to a one year $10 million contract, with the chance at more if he hits some incentives. Now we have a two headed monster at the beginning of the rotation in Duscherer and Sheets. Last year we didn’t have a clear Ace and now we have two. Pairing these two vets with Brett Anderson (last year’s most impressive rookie starter) and Trevor Cahill looks to be a solid rotation.
Sheets is reportedly still hitting the mid-90’s on the radar gun when he worked out for interested teams, and looks completely recovered from the elbow surgery that sidelined him all of last year. If he ends up being his old self (2008 All-Star), he will be worth the money. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded away at the mid-July deadline if he’s doing well, for some always coveted prospects to put in the system, but hopefully we will be in the playoff hunt when that time rolls around and stick with him! Even if the fragile Sheets ends up getting hurt along the line, which isn’t out of the question, he will be able to help out the very young an inexperienced pitchers currently on the roster. Last year they had basically no guidance from any veterans, so all the nuances of the game they can absorb from Sheets will be great for them on and off the field. If this gamble on a injury prone player doesn’t work out, I won’t blame them for at least trying to get someone that can compete with the Felix and Cliff of the Mariners. Here’s to wishing Ben good health in 2010!