Blog Entry

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Posted on: February 5, 2009 2:48 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2009 2:54 pm

Ben Sheets, the injury-plagued, free-agent starting pitcher, is expected to undergo elbow surgery and be sidelined for four to six months, according to sources.

The surgery, to repair Sheets' partially torn flexor tendon, is expected to be performed by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. A source with knowledge of the situation said that Sheets is not expected to undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.

Still, the elbow surgery likely will keep Sheets on the sidelines until August, or later. The right-hander was prepared to undergo surgery this week, according to sources, but those plans hit a snag over insurance issues and who would pay for it.

Sheets' agent, Casey Close, could not be reached for comment, but sources say that he maintains Milwaukee should pay for the surgery since the injury stems from his time with the Brewers. While that dispute is resolved, Sheets now hopes to have the surgery next week, sources say.

The news comes late in a winter that Sheets and many other free agents have found to be exceptionally cold, and it helps explain why several conversations between the right-hander and the Texas Rangers have yet to evolve into a contract.

Talks between the Rangers and Sheets reached an impasse within the past several days, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. The two sides were close to agreement on a two-year deal, according to a major-league source, but they already had concerns regarding the right-handers' checkered health history. It is believed that the physical examination revealed the tear and caused the Rangers to scotch the deal.

Sheets' elbow became sore last September during a season in which the right-hander worked 198 innings -- his highest total since 2004. But he came up lame down the stretch and surrendered 10 runs and 15 hits in just over 10 innings of his final three starts. He was unable to pitch in Milwaukee's first-round playoff series loss to Philadelphia.

Since 2001, Sheets, 30, has spent time on the disabled list with right rotator cuff tendinitis, a severe inner-ear infection, a torn back muscle, a right shoulder strain, tendinitis in his right shoulder and a sprained right middle finger.

In eight seasons with the Brewers, Sheets has compiled an 86-83 career record with a 3.72 ERA. When he's healthy, Sheets has the stuff of a staff ace. But staying healthy has been his biggest challenge.

Sheets was 13-9 with a 3.01 ERA in 31 starts for the Brewers in 2008 and was the National League's starting pitcher in the All-Star Game. He also earned $11 million in the final season of a four-year, $38.5 million deal.

The Brewers offered him arbitration in December and, had he accepted, he likely would have gotten a raise from that $11 million for 2009. However, while Sheets' departure saved the Brewers some money, news of his likely impending surgery before he signed a free agent contract will cost Milwaukee draft picks. The Brewers were to receive two compensatory picks from the team signing Sheets.


Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2009 1:55 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Actually Kerry Wood did that last year.  Out of loyalty to the Cubs who drafted him and always stuck with him through injuries, he took a small salary.  Then he went out, had a fantastic year, and earned a 10 million / yr package from the indians.


Sheets, you could learn a little.  Instead you have no contract and have to squabble to get your previous team to pay for surgery.

Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2009 11:18 am

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

This stuff is disgusting. Is anyone else sick of injured players, peddling themselves as being elite, capable performers, then going on the disabled list when they knew they were hurt all along?

I have no problem with a player getting whatever they can, but they have to be able to perform.

Sheets should have had this surgery in October, then he would have been ready by May. Instead, he and his agent attempted to defraud MLB teams out of almost an entire year's salary. He knew he was hurt but didn't address it until no teams were willing to throw away their money.

Hopefully, these teams have wised up. There probably will be claims of collusion. I know the Phillies have been bitten several times by this type of situation or something similar. Mike Jackson took millions of dollars and didn't pitch an inning. Freddy Garcia got $10,000,000 for one victory. Randy Wolf took a year's salary from the Phillies then took less money to pitch for the Dodgers.

Now, I don't think that these players shouldn't be payed, they should. But, it would be refreshing if one of these players would step up and say, "Thanks for sticking with me. I really appreciate everything the organization has done for me - helping me get back to a position where I can perform again. For all of that I'm offering to play for you at a discount from my last deal." Then, the team can make the decision.

I know it will never happen because players only have so many years to earn. That's BS because they didn't 'earn' their salary during the injured year.

I'm not asking for them to dop anything more than make good on that wasted year. And still get paid something.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2009 8:31 am

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

What a surprise, Big Ben is hurt again.

I bet the Brewers are happy he opted for free agency.

Remember Teddy Higuera!!!!

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2009 7:36 am

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

  Youre absolutely right.  Conniving scums will always end loosing!!!

Since: Feb 6, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2009 3:26 am

Sheets expects to have surgery soon


Relax. I know Ben and his family from back in the day. Say what you will about his agent, his decisions and his business dealings, but leave the folks out of this.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2009 12:39 am

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Actually, no matter what kind of contract he signed he would have had to take a physical and they would've found the torn tendon.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2009 12:04 am

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Another piece of damaged goods! How did Brian Cashman and the Yankees manage to let him slip through their clutches?

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2009 9:33 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Only if you are a pending free agent or whistleblower. If Sheets was still with the pathetic Brew Crew for next season then the team would have to pay for his treatement by sending him to one of their doctors. But since he is no longer their property why would they pay for his surgery. When you say that an employer has to pay for his former employees expenses is absurd. Do you also think that a guy should be giving money to his ex girlfriend's or wife's boyfriend money to take her out on a date. Of course not! Once you cut the cease all contact with anyone you used to be friendly with. That is unless you like being a cuckold.

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2009 9:33 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

good point. amazing.

Since: Aug 16, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2009 9:31 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Sheets has a big season, and gets a big contract for Ten million per season.  For all the time he missed at work and got paid, that should about cover his doctor James Andrews bills.

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