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: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2009 9:06 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon


     I agree with you and you're right on point with the case you make in your post, but it is rather dubious that we now hear he needs surgery.  On the other hand maybe that's why no one took a chance on him this offseason.  When healthy, Ben Sheets has got the stuff of a Number 1 on most any staff.  hope his career isn't over.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2009 8:31 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Koolmike...  Sorry, but I just think you are plain wrong.  I was waiting for someone to come back on this thread.

The last time I checked, all teams signing free agents (especially pitchers) have them pass physicals BEFORE the contract is signed.  Remember Teddy Higuera from the late 80's?  No team signs anyone anymore without throughly checking them out from top-to-bottom.  These physicals nomally include range-of-motion exercises.  Sheets had forearm problems at the end of last season anyway.  So there was risk already attached to him.  Any pitcher with a bum arm wouldn't get a multi-million dollar contract and probably wouldn't get a contract at all - unless it was something like the Chris Carpenter deal the St. Louis Cardinals gave him about 5 years ago when he was coming off shoulder surgery.  In any case, those are the facts.

You know, I'm not trying to stick up for Ben Sheets.  I've never met the guy and I have no interest in him one way or another.  However, like I said in my previous post, if you are going to call someone a con-artist who is just trying to rip off some team for millions of dollars, I think you should know what you are talking about and not just throwing out comments like that.  The guy hasn't commited a crime (that I know of) other then just trying to pursue his chosen profession with the best deal he can get.  Last time I checked, that wasn't immoral or illegal. 

Geeez, lighten up on the guy.  His whole career is circling the drain. 


Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2009 8:12 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Awesome. This opens the door for the Jays to make a move. Seems to be the perfect final compliment to the "Mike Sirotka-esque" off-season in Toronto.

Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2009 7:42 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

The second coming of Carl Pavano, except with talent. 

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2009 7:14 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

I couldn't disagree more.  It is a big deal.  You cannot tell me that Ben Sheets didn't already know that he wasn't quite fit, yet he was trying to sign a contract.  With the Mets, Yankees and Rangers talking with his agent, he, and his agent, was hoping to swindle some team to signing him to two or more years, which would've amounted to a free year spent on the DL, kinda like getting paid for doing nothing.  We already know that agents are scum, see scott boros.  Also, Rafael Furcal's agent swindled the Braves into thinking they had a deal so the agent could get more money from the Dodgers, and thus more money for himself.  This whole Sheets business was one big lie to swindle someone out of money and get more for themselves without giving anything in return.  And now, since he can't get a contract, he wants the Brewers to pay for his surgery.  Sorry, but I am less than sympathetic.

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2009 6:44 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Actually no it's not plain wrong and you are the one making the idiotic comment.  If Sabathia gets 20 millin a year and Lowe gets 15 million a year and Burnett gets all that money Sheets and his shady agent thought that 11 million in arbitration was an insult.  He tried to pull a fast one on any teams that were willing to talk to him.  He got what he deserved....absolutely nothing.  And now he will likely have to take a minor league deal in 2010 to "prove himself."  And besides when it comes to Sheets there is much ado about nothing.  This is a guy who is a career %500 pitcher with an era just below 4.00 and who is injured all the time.  SOunds like a guy that the Dodgers or Yankees would give a long term deal to...

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2009 6:35 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

I'm sorry Chandler9797... but that is just completely idiotic comment

Assumming Sheets did know he was injured, he then would have accepted the arbitration offer from the Brewers and made sure he got paid this year (in excess of $11,000,000) and still had the surgery.  Then he could have signed a new contract next winter with a more then likely healthy arm.  Now, he has nothing and will get nothing until he proves he can pitch. 

Sheets gambled that his arm was healthy...  truned down arbitration... and now is left out in the cold.  Basically, he gambled and lost.  He's not the first player to do something stupid like that and probably won't be the last.  I won't cry for him.  However, I know people get upset that with athletes who make tons of money for playing suppoidly kids games.  But before you call anyone a thief and a lier, I think you should think things through a little better because what you said is just plain wrong.

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2009 6:19 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

It is wonderful when another greedy player winds up with nothing. He could not afford to live on 11 million a year. Too bad. When attendance starts to drop players like this should be blown out of baseball.

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2009 6:16 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

Is anyone really suprised at this?  This guy is really really dominate, but can't stay healthy.  The only thing he is missing is a Cubs jersey and he could be Mark Prior or Kerry Wood.  Who Cares, move on.  See you next year Ben, you have been relegated to an oft hurt journeyman that contenders will go to on a year to year basis if healthy. 

Since: Mar 1, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2009 6:03 pm

Sheets expects to have surgery soon

he makes millions and doesnt want to cough up a few bucks to fix his arm.  what a bum!

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