Today brought the news that many of us were starting to suspect; Ben Sheets arm is far worse off than we anticipated. In fact, there appears to have been an agreement in place with the Texas Rangers on a two-year deal when the normally routine physical turned up how serious the injury was and now Ben Sheets is weighing surgery that may put him out all of the 2009 season.
Given the rumors floating around earlier of a scary medical report and the complete lack of reported interest all winter, I have my doubts that the other 29 teams didn’t have at least some suspicion that this was going to be the outcome for Sheets. Then again, the Brewers did offer Sheets arbitration this winter, so they must have not been aware of the full extent of the injury at the time and given their playoff run and long standing relationship with Sheets, you would have expected them to be the most on the ball of teams.
Regardless of the nature of when the information was disseminated, it is out there now and it certainly throws a wrench into contract proceedings for Sheets. Off the top of my head, it would seem that there are two options for Sheets. One being for him to sign some sort of two or three year contract with little guaranteed but plenty of incentives in order to entice a team to pay for the surgery and rehab and give them the possible reward of having his service at a reduced cost in exchange. The other would be to get the surgery and rehab on his own and then depending on the time frame of recovery, maybe he can snag a pro-rated deal near the end of the season (how great of a story would that be for teams in late August looking to gain an advantage?) or perhaps waiting until the 2009 off season.
Of course, perhaps Ben Sheets will not need surgery, but right now it looks like teams are going to be staying away from any big commitment until he shows some health. This is a big loss for Sheets and a loss for us as baseball fans, deprived yet again of one of the top pitching talents in baseball.
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