Wouldn’t it be incredible to be a pundit? Readers hang on your every word – no doubt earned after years of excellent writing and reporting.

So I don’t begrudge Ken Rosenthal his following or his platform. But when he tosses out predictions like the Chicago Cubs signing Ben Sheets, it would be nice if he had something there to back it up.

Ben Sheets — Arguably the best starting pitcher in the entire free-agent class, but the question remains: Is he healthy?

Sheets missed all of last season while recovering from elbow surgery. Teams likely will want to see him throw before deciding whether he is worthy of an investment.

He still makes the most sense for a high-revenue club that can absorb the risk, but the Yankees and Red Sox do not figure to spend more on starting pitching.

Prediction: Cubs.

via FOX Sports on MSN.

On what basis, Ken? Look, I’d love to see the Cubs land Sheets. But for that to happen, it would have to be an incentive-laden deal, or at a minimum a one-year deal with a low salary and a big money option for 2011. The Cubs, regrettably, are up against a serious budget crunch, with most sources – including Jim Hendry, himself – indicating that the team has, at most, another $4 to 6 million left to spend after the Marlon Byrd signing.

And Ben Sheets has given no indication that he’d go for a deal like that. He’s been asking for multiple years at more than $10 million per year. Sure, he’s not going to get it, but he’s going to get something more than the chicken scratch the Cubs would prefer to spend on a high risk player.

Maybe if the market for him continues to fade, we can have this conversation. And maybe Ben Sheets will end up with the Cubs. But for now, Sheets is a costly risk that this team, as con$titued, can’t afford. Given that, you’d think Rosenthal would offer at least some justification for his prediction.

  • Kevin G

    I really like the Ideas od Sheets coming to to Cubs. If he is health he is great. And I hate to say this the whole season is based on ifs this year. If Soto can hit again, if Alfonso can hit again I could go now but I am not that mean. So what one more if, and i could give the cubs some pitching levelage for trades.

  • http://wrigleyville23.com wv23

    how dare you question ken rosenthal.


    • Ace

      I know. I probably won’t be getting that exclusive any time soon.

  • KB

    Love Sheets. But how is he different from Harden, whom we’ve already scuttled?

    • Ace

      Harden actually pitched last year. Oops, that cuts the other way…

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