The New York Mets MUST Sign Ben Sheets

Jeff WalsteinContributor IJanuary 19, 2010

NEW YORK - JULY 15:  Pitcher Ben Sheets #15 of the National League All-Stars throws against the American League All-Stars during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008 in New York, New York. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Us Mets fans, we must have been kidding ourselves. After a short stint of optimism following the signing of Jason Bay, the Mets have once again embarrassed themselves with this recent Carlos Beltran fiasco and Bengie Molina disaster.

I actually thought the Mets offense could be scary with both Bay and Molina added to the team. All winter the Mets have been linked to Molina as if a deal was predetermined. I personally thought it was a no-brainer and already a done deal.

Bengie Molina was reportedly looking for a three-year deal to come to the Mets. The Mets were only willing to offer two years at the most, and more realistically, one year with an option. After months of negotiating, the Mets finally botched the deal and Molina came to his senses, taking a smaller one-year deal to stay in San Francisco.

Now the Mets, who have four quality back-up catchers and no true starting catcher, need to switch their focus to making a positive move to help make the team better and save face with the fans. That move is obviously to sign Ben Sheets. Sheets was said to have hit 91mph on the radar gun today in a workout in front of over 20 big league scouts. 

The Mets need to seriously consider the possibility that after 16 months of being off of the mound, Sheets could actually be healthy now. Just the very idea of teaming up a healthy Santana and Sheets gives me chills.

No other free agent pitcher available has as much upside as Sheets. Slotting him in the number two spot in the rotation followed by Pelfrey, Maine, and Perez will make the rotation noticeably strong. Pelfrey gets shifted from a two to a three and Maine, a three to a four. Perez can be lived with as a fifth starter.

Sheets could be had at a reasonable price. Possibly a one-year deal for about $5-7 million with a vesting or club option for 2011. The deal could be packed with incentives, which would only benefit the Mets if Sheets is successful in reaching them. If Sheets is healthy, and does pitch effectively, the Mets could pick up the option for 2011 and maybe have themselves the steal of the 2010 free agent class.

I love low risk, high rewards deals teams give certain players. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. They key is to try and figure out which players are capable of coming back from injury and succeeding as opposed to guys who never get back to their old form.

To me, Sheets is the kind of guy worth taking a risk on. He was a proven ace in Milwaukee, and started an All-Star game as recently as 2008. He is exactly what the Mets need and they should do everything in their power to make it happen.