Looking at the crop, I'm seeing a lot of guys who I would love to have on a 2 to 3 year deal, but I don't know if anyone else is worth a four plus year deal, Sabathia excluded. It seems clear that the Braves are intent on picking up at least one and perhaps two pitchers in free agency. Being that it's one in the morning here and I have to be at work in six hours, here's my quick take on the arms for sale this winter.
The case for a long term deal - Lowe has made at least 32 starts in each of the last seven years, throwing 200 innings plus in five of those years. He's been very effective with his sinker/slider combo, limiting walks and keeping the ball on the ground. With our solid defense, particularly in the infield, it's a style that would play well here.
The case against a long term deal - Lowe, at 35, is no spring chicken. Having any pitcher under contract through their age 40 season is a serious risk. Pitching in Dodger Stadium may well make him look a tiny bit better than he really is, though the Ted is a slight pitchers park as well.
The case for a long term deal - really, I don't see one. He's dominant when healthy
The case against a long term deal - Health, health, and health. Burnett has made 30 starts in only 2 of the last 5 years. To me, this one is open and shut, a long term deal with Burnett is a recipe for disaster.
The case for a long term deal - He was really good this year?
The case against a long term deal - This was the only season he's ever been really good, and he too is on the wrong side of thirty. I don't like this guy at all to be perfectly honest, not enough of a track record for me to be comfortable commiting a chunk of resources to him.
The case for a long term deal - Like Burnett, he's dominant when he actually takes the mound
The case against - Like Burnett again, he's never been healthy for more than three years at a time. Luckily, I think Sheets goes into this offseason realizing that he won't be getting a four plus year contract.
The case for a long term deal - He's young and relatively effective as a middle of the rotation pitcher.
The case against a long term deal - Scott Boras, who apparently thinks he's one of the top 5 lefties in the game. I'll pass on that one.
I don't think any of the other pitchers available will get multi-year deals for whatever reason - age, performance, injuries, or both. The guys above probably have enough potential to be front line starters to get those big, long contracts from someone. In the end, I would be thrilled to land Lowe or Burnett for the right deal - 2 to 3 years with a team option for a third or fourth. But anything more than 3 guaraunteed years to anyone that's out there right now would make me think twice. If you think I'm leaving someone out, feel free to berate me for my snub!