While it’s certainly tough to create original content relating to the Hot Stove league, reading this from (former Yanks blogfather and current) RedSox blogger Pete Abraham, it just reads eerily similar to what I wrote yesterday. Nooooo, not an accusation of anything unmentionable, but maybe proof that we’re onto something:
Ben Sheets could be the prize pickup in that group. The 31-year-old righthander has not pitched in 14 months because of a torn flexor tendon. Sheets had surgery in February and skipped the entire 2009 season to rehab, working at TMI Sports Medicine in Arlington, Texas.
Righthander Rich Harden is a similar pitcher, having not thrown more than 148 innings since the 2004 season. He was 9-9 with an unimpressive 4.09 ERA for the Cubs last season and was shut down at the end of the season with assorted aches.
But he has a 3.05 ERA over the last two seasons and 29 more strikeouts than innings pitched in his career. Harden also spent six seasons in Oakland, giving him the American League experience that Penny and Smoltz did not have. The combination of a depressed market and his lack of durability could make Harden an affordable pickup.
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