Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Face, New Place: Ben Sheets, A's

When the penny-pinching Oakland A's commit $10 million to a starting pitcher, you better take notice.

That's why Ben Sheets is such an intriguing sleeper for 2010. The 31-year-old right-hander and four-time All-Star with the Milwaukee Brewers instantly becomes Oakland's most experienced and highest-paid pitchers. Obviously he's a huge injury risk, as he's just about a year removed from elbow surgery that sidelined him all of 2009. In fact, Sheets hasn't logged 200 innings since 2004 - the same year he struck out 264 batters. But clearly the A's liked what they saw from Sheets in order to commit that much money to the veteran, making him their second-highest-paid player behind Eric Chavez.

There's a decent chance Sheets could go out and blow his arm out in April and never be heard from again. There's also a chance he could be an All-Star-caliber player you can get on the cheap. If you can nab him as your fourth fantasy starter and have some trustworthy arms ahead of him on your depth chart, I say he's well worth the gamble.

Photo by The Associated Press

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