Friday, February 06, 2009

Ben Sheets to the Wind

Free-agent pitcher Ben Sheets - late of the Milwaukee Brewers and the All-Star Game starter for the National League in 2008 - was closing in on a deal with the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers were offering a 2-year contract with only $10 million in guaranteed money but lots of incentives.

Then they had to go and do a physical exam. What they found scared the Rangers away from the proposed contract with Sheets, and will send Sheets under the knife.

Sheets' right elbow bothered him down the stretch last season and he didn't pitch in the playoffs. The MRI ordered by the Rangers showed a torn flexor tendon.

What awaits Sheets now is surgery. After that? He'll likely sign a two-year deal with someone - the Rangers haven't ruled out this possibility - that provides minimal pay for 2010 while Sheets rehabs, then an incentive-laden pay structure for 2011.