The Cardinals had representatives watching former Brewers ace Ben Sheets throw today and si.com's Tom Verducci thinks it wasn't just for show. He writes that St. Louis is a "likely destination" for the hurler.
This is a shock, since Sheets is said to be asking for a $7.5-million, one-year contract... About $7.5 million is all the Redbirds are thought to have left to spend on a starter, a reliever, an outfielder and a utility man or corner infielder.
Verducci also listed Seattle as a "likely" destination for Sheets while si.com's Jon Heyman thinks the Cubs, Mets and Rangers are favorites to land Sheets.
With an 86-83 lifetime record and a 3.72 ERA, Sheets is an enigma. He's struck out as many as 264 in a season. But that was way back in 2004 and he has never come close to 200 whiffs in any season he has pitched before that or since. Despite his electric stuff, and mostly because of injury troubles, he has never managed to win more than 13 games in a season.
I'd be really shocked if the Cardinals decided to spend the rest of their budget on a $7.5 million fifth starter. Especially one who hasn't pitched in a year because of arm trouble. If they did make such a move, it would make me wonder why they would make such a bold short term move. Is it to try to convince Albert Pujols to re-sign because they are so committed to winning now? Or is it because the think they will lose Pujols in two years and they feel like it's now or never?