Ben Sheets Has No "Sheet" of Paper to Sign

Hayato UwaiCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2009

Too bad for former Brewers' ace Ben Sheets. He is still unsigned for next season. It's true that the economy is so bad that only 50 percent of free agents (Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu are still free) are signed.

But, Sheets is a good starting pitcher. Why is he unemployed for next season? Well, I think you can imagine, if you know something about him. There is one obvious reason and one concerning the market.

First of all, ace-type pitchers were in the market. Sheets' former teammate CC Sabathia (former Indians' and Brewers' ace), A.J. Burnett (SP right after Roy Halladay), Derek Lowe (Dodger Blue ace).

Sheets was basically forgotten until all three of them signed with their new team. Now, it should be Sheets' turn. But big market teams are not interested in him (Mets are showing some kind of interest though) since their starting rotation is set for next season and he won't return to the Brewers most likely. Now, what will he do?

At some point, I expect some team to sign him—for cheap. Sheets won't get big money like Sabathia, Burnett, Lowe did. Sheets has one major problem that makes many teams to avoid him.

The biggest problem he has is he is injury prone. Can you count how many times he went on to DL—neither can I—way too many. He has had injuries ranging from his back to his arm to everywhere else on his body. Teams don't want a guy who gets hurt every season.

But, Bartolo Colon signed with the White Sox. Freddy Garcia might sign real soon. Why not Sheets? I think that Sheets will perform much better than both Colon and Garcia—of course Sheets is younger though.

He is a high risk, high return guy. Any team gambling on him? He will most likely end up on a small-market team.