Should the Mets Make a Pitch for Ben Sheets?

Mike KentSenior Writer IJanuary 21, 2009

The Mets are in need of a starting pitcher, and they have more than one option. One of those is Ben Sheets, one of the best pitchers still on the market. So, the question is: Should they get him?

There is one big reason not to sign Sheets: he is a big injury threat. Since 2004, Sheets has been dancing between the DL and the starting rotation. And at the end of last season, Sheets was out with a Flexor tendon tear in his right elbow, and finished 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 starts and 198 1/3 innings pitched. He did not pitch in the playoffs for the Brewers.

But I for one think that the Mets should sign the former Brewers ace. When Sheets is healthy, he is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Last year he was 10-3 with a 2.85 ERA at the All-Star break and was chosen as a starting pitcher for the NL in the 2008 All-Star Game. He pitched two scoreless innings, gave up one hit, and struck out three.

Another reason the Mets should sign Sheets is because he will come cheaper then Oliver Perez, and if they can save that money, the Mets should try to get an Orlando Hudson to play second base, and maybe trade Luis Castillo to the Royals for Jose Guillen.

And it looks like people only remember the Game Seven of the 2006 NLCS Oliver Perez, They forget the inconsistent and erratic guy who had a 4.22 ERA last year. I know he could be great, but he is also a big question mark.

Worst comes to worst, there are several solid arms in the farm system, including Jonathon Niese. Niese is a good pitcher that I think should be given a chance. We also have Bobby Parnell, who could come up to the big club if another pitcher goes down.

But why risk untested arms? I don’t get why the Mets wouldn't take a shot at Sheets. It looks good to me, and I hope they get him.