First off, tomorrow, the 26th of January, yours truly will have a "Pinch Hitting" piece published on Peter Abraham's blog, so give it a look.
On to more baseball related matters:
It appears that Ben Sheets latest medical reports are much better than they were back in the Winter Meetings. This, apparently, has sparked new interest from a lot of teams. While it looks like Sheets will end up in Arlington, the Yankees may be showing interest in him again.
If they are in fact looking at him again, this gives them much more leverage in the negotiations with Andy Pettitte. If the offer has been upped to $10.5 mil to keep Andy in the Bronx, he'll probably still reject it because in his mind, he still thinks he's worth $16 million. That's just insane. So if Andy's going to be true to his word and come back to NY or retire, discussions with Sheets could light a fire under his ass to make a decision.
Of course, this also gives Ben Sheets a little leverage. Before these reports, Sheets was staring in the face of a one year contract with maybe an option for a second year. Now, he is probably in position to get at least a two year contract. I wouldn't mind giving him a two year contract but I'd prefer a one year deal or a one and an option type deal, but either way Ben Sheets in Pinstripes would be just fine for me.
A one year deal would allow Phil Hughes to move into the rotation in 2010 when I think he'll be fully ready. A two year deal allows Hughes more time to develop. I don't like the idea of starters in the bullpen, but early in a career, it could help. Just look at how it worked out for Johan and Pedro. They turned out just fine.
Now I'll turn my attention to other teams, for variety's sake.
The Mets, though their bullpen is improved, still need to add a corner OF. The price tag on Adam Dunn has apparently dropped. The Mets should make a serious play at him, even if it's a one year deal. If the Mets signed Adam Dunn, their 3/4/5 would look like: Beltran/Wright/Dunn. That would easily be the best three through five combination in the NL East now that Pat Burrell has departed for Tampa Bay. Signing Adam Dunn would be a smart move for the Mets...so they probably won't do it (just kidding Mets fans). I still have a pipe dream involving a trade of Xavier Nady and the signing of Adam Dunn....maybe...