Elbow Injury for Ben Sheets

Well now we know why no one was signing Ben Sheets — it turns out his elbow has a torn flexor tendon that likely will require surgery.

So for everyone clamoring for the Mets to sign Sheets, including myself, it’s time to move on.

Or, would it make sense for the Mets to sign Sheets to a really, really cheap 2-year deal with incentives built in for year two? In other words, pay Sheets to recover under the Mets’ watch in 2009, and hopefully be ready to pitch again in a Mets uniform in 2010? Much like the Yankees with Jon Lieber, and the Cardinals did with Chris Carpenter, in 2003?

It really wouldn’t be that much of a gamble, and in fact, it makes a lot more sense than letting the guy recover on his own and overpaying when he deems himself “healthy”. After all, without a contract, Sheets is more likely to rush his recovery, and come back too early. Also, if he’s not being paid, he’ll seek out his own rehab program — which may or may not be as good as one funded by an MLB team. Sheets will turn 31 when Opening Day rolls around in 2010, so he’s still young enough to make a strong return.

Yes, we as Mets fans want to see the team improve for 2009, but I wouldn’t mind having to look forward to a healthy Ben Sheets in 2010, either. There aren’t many pitchers worth paying to sit for a year, but Sheets is one of them.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude February 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm
    It would have to be a REALLY cheap deal. Like no more than $3-mil guarenteed. Because regardless of the type of potential Sheets may possess after a pretty serious surgical procedure, the Mets don’t appear to be of the financial status any longer of handing out a multi-million dollar deal to a guy who may never be the same. But if Sheets can be had on the cheap, I don’t see why having him around would hurt.

    There’s also news today that Andruw Jones turned down a minor league deal with the Yankees, which means one of 4 things. 1) He wants more than a minor league deal, 2) he doesn’t like his chances of getting ample playing time with the Yankees, 3) he doesn’t want to be a Yankee, or 4) he doesn’t want to play in NY. I tend to think it’s a combination of 1 & 2. If Omar has any guts he’d offer Jones a 1-year, $1-mil contract as of yesterday. In this economy, and with as much money Jones got in his severence package from the Dodgers, one million bucks may be enough in the right situation to get him signed. And let’s face it, with a fragile Ryan Church in RF and a weak platoon of Tatis and Murphy in LF, Jones has got to like his chances for playing time…and Omar should be a little more desperate for OF help. Even for the “cash-strapped” Mets, a $1-mil deal would be a bargain for a guy who can play gold glove OF with a stick that can hit 30 home runs.

  2. sincekindergarten February 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm
    I would have liked to see the Mets make a run at Sheets, one more substantial than they had done. Once again, Omar is a genius. Sometimes, the best moves that are made are the ones that aren’t made.

    Also, did you see the remarks made by Chipper about David Wright, and the Mets offseason moves? He absolutely loves Wright, and he said that the Braves and Phillthies need to win the games against the Mets in the first seven innings this year, because of J.J. Putz and K-Rod are going to keep them from winning in the eighth and ninth. (Or something like that–the oxycodone for my four wisdom teeth being extracted about 12 hours ago are making things a bit spotty.)

  3. Micalpalyn February 6, 2009 at 11:28 am
    I thought sheets’ injury to be more serious than the media were reporting. Yes I WOULD like to sign him but where does he slot in now.

    Santana is set as the #1, Ollie is back (and at a great price), Pelfrey figures to step forward, Maine really was set to be #2. Then Redding, Niese, and Freddy vy for #5. Or is it that simple. Maine could have lingering issues similar to Sheets, and Pel could regress (but i think he is a 14-11 pitcher for next yr) . By signing Sheets (early-after the surgery), you could be insuring the rotation for next yr.

  4. isuzudude February 7, 2009 at 8:45 am