The Cubs interest in Ben Sheets has been well noted over the off-season. And their interest in Sheets may have picked up more steam today as Paul Sullivan wrote in the Tribune that the Cubs will make a run at Sheets. They are expected to be among a group of teams that will watch him throw later this week.
The question now, is how much are the Cubs willing to invest in Sheets?. Carrie Muskat cites a Cubs official, saying that they are indeed interested, but not for a his rumored $10-$12 Million asking price. Paul Sullivan in his report sort of downplayed this by saying that the Cubs believe that they have a good shot at landing Sheets with an incentive laden deal. One thing that will likely go in their favor, is Sheets has the Cubs as one of his preferred destinations.
The addition of a healthy Ben Sheets would really solidify the Cubs rotation for the season. Because when Sheets is healthy he is by far the Ace of any pitching staff he is on, unless of course you have Roy Halladay, or Cliff Lee. He would likely follow Zambrano and Dempster in the rotation, and push Carlos Silva into a long reliever role in the bullpen.
I am all for the Cubs signing Ben Sheets. Because he could provide a very high reward for the Cubs, and solidify their rotation in April while Ted Lilly is out. Jim Hendry, who insists that the Cubs don’t need to add a starter, has to realize that with Ted Lilly being out for at least a month, the Cubs rotation to start the year is a bit shaky. So, by adding Sheets he would be providing the Cubs with a more effective and stable rotation for the beginning of the year.
Sheets, who missed all of last year due to injury, will be 31 when the season starts.