Another data point for the Indians to refer to in their negotiations with CC Sabathia:
The Milwaukee Brewers have signed pitching ace Ben Sheets to a new four-year contract extension worth $38.5 million.
Sheets, 26, had signed a $6 million deal for 2005 in February, but left open the option of tearing it up and negotiating a new four-year deal or merely adding a three-year extension. The two sides agreed to tear up the old deal and sign a new extension through 2008
Like Sabathia, Sheets was under team control through 2006, so this deal is very relevant. Johan Santana’s deal was also made under similar circumstances; he’s receiving $40M over the next four seasons. As it is now, it’ll probably take about $9M a year to get Sabathia locked up through 2008. Is that a good investment? Well, $9M is a very large chunk of the current team payroll, and there’s the injury factors. But in today’s market, you’re going to pay at least $7-8M for decent starters, not to mention the price tag for top-of-the-rotation guys.
I say if you can lock up CC through 2008 for $34M or less, you do it. As you approach Sheets or Santana money…well, I’m glad I don’t have to make those types of decisions.