Posted by Steve
We finally seem to be getting some clarity on why Ben Sheets has received little to no interest on the free agent market: he may need surgery after all. The torn flexor tendon in his elbow was apparently not healed enough for the Texas Rangers to sign him. The article reveals Sheets and the Rangers came to a two-year agreement that was nixed only by a physical.
Now it seems that not only will Sheets not be pitching for the Brewers or anyone by the start of the season, but the Brewers may also have to pay for the surgery. This has just gotten ugly.
So now that we have the answer to why he can’t find a job, we only have more questions. Why wasn’t he advised to get surgery months ago? Why did the Brewers offer arbitration? And why on earth would Sheets reject it?
There are numerous mistakes on both sides of this. Obviously, if he’ll need surgery now, someone made the wrong call when it was decided that the injury would heal on its own. Sheets could have had the procedure months ago.
Secondly, it’s more difficult to tell who made the bigger mistake in arbitration–the Brewers for offering it, or Sheets for declining it. Sheets made 11 mil in 2008, so arbitration certainly wouldn’t have been less than that. He was probably looking at either 12 or 13 million bucks in 2009 had he accepted arbitration. Now he can’t get a one year, $5 million offer.
Sheets blew millions by not accepting arbitration, and the Brewers risked blowing millions by offering it. This shows that both sides were confident he was going to be healthy for 2009, which again just goes back to a costly misdiagnosis.
This is just an unfortunate situation all around.