The fact that the Oakland A's took a risk in signing Ben Sheets—who didn't pitch at all since the 2008 season—is one thing. But the fact that they're dishing out $10 million plus incentives is absolutely unheard of.
The A's are known throughout the league and by their fans as "penny-pinchers." Seldom do they ever pay their players more than the league minimum. In fact, only Eric Chavez, who is making $11.5 million this year, is making more than the newly signed Sheets.
The main question is, is Sheets worth that much money?
For the A's, personally, I think he will be.
The A's were in need of another veteran presence in their youthful and talented rotation. The A's front four will include Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer, Dallas Braden, and Brett Anderson. As for the fifth spot, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, and Vin Mazzaro are expected to compete for it.
The A's rotation, with the addition of Sheets, becomes pretty good. In fact, if Sheets and Duchscherer prove to be healthy, the A's staff could be a dangerous one.
And with the A's current focus on defense, opponents might find that scoring runs is an easy task to do. With the additions of Coco Crisp and Kevin Kouzmanoff, the A's defense will probably be one of their best attributes.
So I guess a more important question is, will the A's make the playoffs?
Well, you never know with baseball.
It's an extremely daunting task to predict what will happen over a course of an entire season, but I say the A's will have an outside chance. If Ben Sheets can live up to that $10 million contract, anything is possible.