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.
About the Author
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.