Assessing the market

It’s hard to really know the market right now, as far as free agents go, because so much information is simply speculation and rumor.  I find it very interesting though the way the perceived value for certain players has fluctuated. 

The early thinking seemed to be “stay away from Burnett and Sheets, those guys will want too much money when they are unreliable, and instead go after a consistent innings guy like Lowe who can be signed cheaper.”  Well, because that has been the universal thinking, the market has seemingly corrected itself. 

A few days back, I discussed how Lowe went from the cheaper and more reliable Burnett alternative, to a more expensive plan A.  Well, the guys at RAB made a great comparison yesterday of Ben Sheets and A.J. Burnett.  Sheets has perhaps a worse injury history than Burnett and wasn’t able to finish last season healthy.  But as RAB shows, his history isn’t that much worse than Burnett’s; Sheets just didn’t finish 2008 strong like Burnett did.  

What I’m ultimately getting at though is this: value relative to the market is everything this offseason.  Reading comments from other fans, you usually see “we need to do A, B, and C” type comments, but identifying players is no longer the sole part of the equation.

Once the World Series ended, I would have ranked the potential non-Sabathia starters as follows: 1.Lowe 2. Burnett 3. Sheets.

Lowe wants 4 years at over $16 million per.  Burnett wants similar money, maybe even a fifth year.  Sheets?  Well, there hasn’t been much talk about Sheets’ demands because the demand for has been less so far.  What if your options are the following:

1.  Lowe for 4 years, $64 million
2.  Burnett 5 years, $80 million
3.  Sheets, 3 years, $42 million

Isn’t Sheets then the best deal of the bunch?  It’s all about buying low and signing short contracts.  I’ve heard a rumor that Sheets might want to do a smaller deal and reestablish his value.  What if he would do 2 years at 16 per? 

Honestly, I never thought I’d be able to talk myself into A.J. Burnett and Ben Sheets in the same offseason but I also never expected so many teams to want Derek Lowe.


2 responses to “Assessing the market

  1. Sheets is the best deal in the bunch. Although signing him would be scary. It’s the lesser of the 2 evils as opposed to giving Burnett 5 years.

  2. I’m not so sure Sheets would be a better bargain. Not being able to finish the season leaves a much bigger question mark as to whether or not he’ll be able to pitch through 09. If he was only to give us a couple of games and then need surgery I’d say it’s more or less a wasted contract. You might be getting one good year out of the three. Whereas, with AJ I’ll guess that he might go down over 4/5 years but there will at least be some stellar pitching and hopefully some full seasons.
    Best bargain is the team that picks up Pavano. It would seem a miracle to me if he lost another season to injury. I mean he is due – long overdue to get back. The pitcher Cash thought he was signing will have a good chance to rebound to old form and will no doubt come on the cheap. I’d like to see the signing if we don’t land the big boys but I don’t think NY is the place for him anymore. He has taken a lot of shit and I wouldn’t expect it to stop.

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