Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cubs Interested In Wolf?

According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs have some interest in free agent lefty Randy Wolf. Wolf went 12-12 last year with a 4.30 ERA for the Padres and Astros, and is reportedly seeking a contract worth 8-9 million dollars. With possible starters in Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, and Angel Guzman, the Cubs would be smart to take a chance on Ben Sheets. At this point, Sheets might be willing to take a one or two year deal worth 9-10 million dollars annually. If the deal is loaded with reachable incentives, you might be able to get a deal done quickly. In the event that Sheets goes down, the Cubs would have Marshall, who is very capable of starting in the big leagues. 

Sheets is 6-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 15 career games at Wrigley Field, and has won 25 games over the past two seasons (55 games). Sheets is a pretty balanced pitcher,with a career 1.20 WHIP who will give you 6-7 strikeouts a game. While there is risk in signing Sheets, he has huge upside and could be an X-factor for them. Some argue that taking on Sheets with Harden in the rotation presents a problem if both can't stay healthy. But Wolf is coming off his first full season since 2003 and is two years older than Sheets. You would be taking on nearly the same risk. 

If the Cubs weren't ready to sign a pitcher like Wolf or Sheets, and are not ready to give Sean Marshall a shot, then why did they trade Jason Marquis for Luis Vizcaino? Not only is Vizcaino a fly ball pitcher, but he has a WHIP of 1.45 over the past two seasons. The Cubs have some strong young players, but they are question marks that could really hurt the Cubs in 2009. 

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.


Anonymous said...

I think the Cubs probably figure their fifth starter for at least the first half of 2009 is in-house. Come July, if they're in contention, they'll have ammunition for taking on more salary for another starter if need-be.

I look for them to go get an established lefty for the bullpen before the start of the season, especially if Marshall cements himself in the fifth spot in the rotation.

Matthew said...

"But Wolf is coming off his first full season since 2003 and is two years older than Wolf"

I like the idea of Ben Sheets. For the right price he can be a great signing.