Monday, December 28, 2009

Notable Rehabilitation Pitchers

There are few notable rehabilitation projects this off-season. It’s is interesting to see what kind of deals they can get and where they land. The most interesting part for me is how they perform in 2010 and which team ends up with getting the highest reward for their relatively cheap signings.

The list includes Rich Harden, Justin Duchscherer, Kelvim Escobar, Ben Sheets and Chien-Ming Wang. Anyone else?

Three pitchers on the list already got their deals that are all major league deals. According to reports, Ben Sheets is seeking for 12MM deal while there are 15 teams are interested in signing Wang.

As the list below shows, I guess Ben sheets will get a deal close to what Rich Harden gets while Wang will get a similar deal as Kelvim Escobar or Justin Duchscherer. Agree? Disagree?

Who will perform the best in 2010 is everyone’s guess. As a Taiwanese, I hope is Wang. However, I think Ben Sheets will pitch the best among them because it seems Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer get injured a lot while Wang and Escobar come off shoulder injuries. Agree? Disagree?

Rangers Rich Harden (born 1981, 11, 30)

Injury & Achievement
1) Has a checkered health history (he's never pitched 190 innings in a season)
2) He's got No. 1 stuff and averaging 9.4 per nine innings throughout his career.

Base Deal

1) 3.5MM based on innings pitched
2) 11MM mutual option for 2011
3) 1MM buyout for 2011 mutual option

A's Justin Duchscherer (born 1977, 11, 19)

Injury & Achievement
1) Proved dominant as both a starter and reliever, posting a 2.82 ERA in 214 appearances for the A's.
2) Spent most of the season on the disabled list with an injured right hip in 2007
3) Missed the 2009 season due to shoulder and back injuries and a bout with clinical depression

Base Deal

1) 3.5MM based on games started and innings pitched

Mets Kelvim Escobar (born 1976, 4, 11)

Injury & Achievement
1) Between 2004 and 2007, Escobar posted a 3.60 ERA and a 2.63 K-BB ratio with Angels
2) He missed the entire 2008 season with shoulder problems
3) Labrum surgery in July 2008 limited him to just five innings of major league work in 2009

Base Deal

1) 125K for making the Mets' Opening Day roster
2) 2MM based on games pitched
3) 1MM based on games finished

Ben Sheets (born 1978, 7, 18)

Injury & Achievement
1) Missing all of 2009 with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow
2) Posted a 3.09 ERA in 2008 ?

Chien-Ming Wang (born 1980, 3, 31)

Injury & Achievement
1) 2 times 19 games winner with 55-26 record in five years with the Yankees
2) Start 2008 season with 8-2 record before injuring his right foot when running the base
3) Coming off right shoulder surgery and might not be able to pitch until midseason


MJB said...

I think Harden is probably the best of the bunch. He seems to pitch well before and after injury. If only he could avoid that injury part.

So far, Wang has struggled coming back from injury, so that is not a good sign. I hear that Cashman wants the chance to make a matching offer to whatever Wang sees as his best offer. I hope that this is true. With Wang needing time to rehab and the starting rotation full, I think its a good match. I still have hope that he can come back to the Yankees.

Duchscherer is a strange case, since he apparently had psychological issues along with physical ones. He was a great pitcher, but seems like extra risk because of his head.

Sheets has always been a stud, a really great pitcher. However, he's proven that he is also an injury waiting to happen. He can hope for a 12M deal, but his days of making demands are matter how good his stuff is.

I've never been overly-impressed with Escobar, but his deal is a real bargain for the Mets.

Jessica Lee said...

Originally, I choose between Harden and Sheets. It seems to me Harden just has endless injuries. It is impossible to expect him to stay healthy the whole year. For Sheets, he at least will be the horse of pitching staff while he is healthy even though he had some major injuries in the past. However, I agree with you. I just don’t see he can get the amount of guaranteed money he asks for.

As a diehard Yankees fan from Taiwan, of course, I hope Wang can be back to Yankees. But, I just can’t see it happening. I know there are some reports say that Cashman wants the chance to match the best offer Wang can get. But, those reports came out before Yankees traded for Javier Vazquez.

Even when reports just came out and they hadn’t required Javier Vazquez, I think Cashman and Yankees front office just paid lip service. It seems to me Cashman and Yankees front office never rank Wang high and never view him as the center piece of Yankees team. Let alone Wang just came out of his second shoulder injury which is big red flag for any pitcher and there are certainly rifts and trust issues between Wang and Yankees.

When Cashman says he wants to match the best offer Wang can get, I believe there is the limitation for that. Wang will get a better deal from someone. The deal may not be the best one in terms of money. But, some teams may offer Wang a major league deal, an almost guaranteed spot in the rotation with their weak pitching staff or the circumstance with more playing time and less pressure for winning that can lead Wang to ease his way back to his old form from injury.

The only chance I can see Wang comes back to Yankees is someone from Yankees rotation getting injury during the season and Wang is still on the market with full recovery. Under that circumstance, Yankees certainly can match any offer from any team without limitation.

Yankees said...

Whoever plays better down the road will be the best and it could be one of our rookies.If Harden does noy perform as the best one, we are in serious trouble with his max contract.Lin will defintely be a leader of this team; but there's a pecking order and I think he will have to defer to Harden !