In an odd move yesterday, the Oakland A's signed Ben Sheets to a 1 year/$10 million (+ incentives) deal. Sheets did not pitch last year and, while he's expected to be healthy at this point, has been injury prone his entire career. One might ask why the A's would make this signing, and the answer is pretty simple:
- If it works out, they think they have a chance at making the playoffs.
- If it doesn't work out, they will trade Sheets, save on the remainder of his salary, and gather prospects.
- If he plays the full year with them, they can offer him arbitration and receive draft pick(s) when he signs elsewhere.
Now, all of these scenarios don't include Sheets injuring himself in April and not being able to pitch the rest of the year. Oakland must feel that Sheets is quite healthy, otherwise, I have no idea why they would sign him.
On the other side of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, the Chicago Cubs sign Xavier Nady to a 1 year/$3.3 million (+ incentives) deal to theoretically give the Cubs more outfield depth. Nady played a whopping seven games with the Yankees last year before going under the knife for his second Tommy John surgery.
This signing is pending a physical, but I imagine Nady will be on the Cubs' roster this year. That creates an outfield of Soriano in Left, Marlon Byrd in Center, and Fukudome in Right, with Nady filling in as needed.
If all of these guys are healthy, I can see this being a decent outfield. The problem is that Nady his injury issues, Soriano slumped all of last season and is also injury prone, and the other two guys aren't exactly on my list of top outfielders.
My main point is that I wish I had a job where a company would pay me millions of dollars after I have been out for a year. I mean, it's already cool enough that they get to play baseball in front of thousands of people every night (well, at least hundreds since Sheets will be playing in Oakland.) But to get injured, be out for a year, and then return to a contract of $1 million, $3 million, or even $10 million is just amazing. I have a hard time believing many other companies would do something like that, but I suppose I could be wrong.
So good luck Sheets and Nady. My your brittle bodies make it through the season and bring some value to the teams that overpaid for you. Is it still too late to become a left handed pitcher? Ah yes, I'm right handed and haven't played organized baseball since age 12... Damn.