Should the New York Yankees Still Try To Sign Ben Sheets?

Disco AfroContributor IDecember 29, 2008

Ok, maybe it could be considered gluttony (as well as risky), but I am of the mind that the Yankees shouldn't stop at four top-of-the-rotation starters...Not when Ben Sheets is still out there.

Much has been said about the Yankees concerns over the health issues that have plagued Sheets during his career. The Yankees are correct to take such a prudent approach, especially considering their recent commitment to A.J. Burnett for the next five years.

Also, the money wasted on Carl Pavano over the past four years has surely embarrassed the organization and is widely considered one of the worst free agent signings... well, ever.

The point is that the Yanks have wasted truckloads of money on bad signings and acquisitions (see Jaret Wright, Kei Igawa, Kevin Brown, etc.) but none of these starters came with the upside that Sheets offers.

I won't deny that Sheets gets hurt and that he has historically struggled to reach the 200 inning mark, but didn't Josh Beckett have similar issues reaching that ever so important threshold? The Red Sox had to give up a heck of a lot more than just money to secure a trade for Beckett but, although he was a risk, they loved his upside.

Sheets is the kind of starter who, when healthy, brings electric, No. 1 type stuff to the mound. This is a guy who could end up out-pitching everyone else on that staff. The thing is, he can probably be had for a short term and for a relatively reasonable price.

Another thing to consider is the fact that he will be highly motivated to stay healthy and perform well. A stellar year could set him up for a huge payday next season—something he's surely aware of.

While I'm not necessarily against slotting one of the kids into the back of the rotation, adding a starter of Sheets' caliber would firmly place a foot on the throat of the rest of the American League.

Such a signing would leave the Yanks with tremendous pitching depth. When (not "if") there are injuries to the staff, Hughes or Aceves could step in and contribute. Until the opportunity arises, Hughes can continue his development in Scranton and Aceves can vie for the long relief spot in the pen.

At the end of the season, the goal is to be in that winner's circle. If the Yanks want access, they're going to need to have excess.