MLB Insights

January 26, 2010 12:53 PM

Another Fantastic Move by Billy Beane

It was reported today that the Oakland Athletics have signed free agent pitcher Ben Sheets to one year deal worth approximately $10 million plus incentives. 

Ben Sheets.jpg

While the price tag may seem steep for the low-budget A's, this is a shrewd move by one of the best in the business, Billy Beane.

First, Sheets missed the 2009 season with a torn flexor tendon, meaning he did not accumulate the stats required to become eligible for Type A or B free agency.  This means that the A's do not sacrifice a draft pick to acquire him, which is normally the case given the talent of a pitcher like Sheets.

Second, the one year deal means that it will be easy for the A's to flip him to a contender (assuming the A's are out of contention) at the deadline for a package of prospects. Half a season of salary is a small price to pay for some prospects that could pay dividends for the A's down the road. 

Now, this move is not without risk.  Sheets has a long history of injury trouble, and even the most minor of injuries could scare away potential suitors.  However, small-market teams like the A' don't make the playoffs by being conservative.  Beane and his front office have obviously weighed the pros and cons of this decision, and I will be very surpirsed if Sheets is still an Athletic come September.  

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