The Dodgers are interested in bringing in starting pitcher Randy Wolf, who pitched decently enough for them for half a season in 2006. While I would prefer Ben Sheets in Dodger Blue, I am somewhat comforted by this excerpt from Ken Rosenthal's FoxSports.com report:
The Astros sought to retain Wolf, but he rejected their three-year, $28.5 million offer, according to sources. He is not expected to command nearly as much from the Dodgers.
At least Wolf's contract won't be an albatross. Still, I can't help but thinking it won't be all that different than what Ben Sheets is going to get. This report from MetsBlog on Monday noted the MLB Network's Tom Verducci mentioned Sheets was looking for a deal of roughly two years, $18 million plus incentives and an option for a third year.
If the money for Sheets and Wolf are roughly the same, which pitcher would you rather have? Here are the 2009 projections for each (per Fangraphs):
||195 IP, 4.38 FIP||165 IP, 4.22 FIP||122 IP, 4.55 FIP|
|Ben Sheets||186 IP, 3.46 FIP||173 IP, 3.61 FIP||148 IP, 3.84 FIP|
Sheets is clearly the better pitcher, and actually has a better health record than Wolf. So if they cost roughly the same amount of money, the only real cost difference I can see between the two is the scarlet "Type A" stuck on Sheet's chest. If the Dodgers sign Sheets, they lose their first round draft pick, the 17th pick. By signing Wolf, they don't lose any draft pick.
I can't fault the philosophy behind not wanting to lose the first rounder, but it seems to me Sheets is a good enough pitcher, at a cheap enough price, to make it worth the risk.