Wednesday was a weird day of news surrounding Ben Sheets. Around noon, our own Matt Snyder e-mailed our group asking if we knew why Sportsline was listing Sheets as injured to start the season. We looked around and none of us knew, so we assumed it was a typo. Later that night, a Rangers beat writer wrote up a cryptic blog post about Sheets, seemingly hinting he was injured.
Well, where there's smoke there's fire and indeed, it looks like Sheets may need elbow surgery. Apparently, Sheets and the Rangers actually reached a contract agreement last week and it fell apart when Sheets' physical revealed the torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow could require surgery.
This news shouldn't be that surprising. Sheets had some serious elbow pain last September and couldn't go in the NLDS when the Brewers certainly could've used his help. They didn't seem to think that the surgery was necessary, but the Rangers certainly won't want to commit any large sum of money to a pitcher that they're not completely convinced is 100 percent healthy. It appears that the biggest question now is who has to pay for the surgery. Since Sheets was hurt as a Brewer, they'll likely have to pick up the tab if Sheets does go under the knife.
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Such is the story of Ben Sheets, I suppose. He threw 198 1/3 innings last year and that was the most he's thrown in a season since 2004. There's no word how long a potential surgery would keep him out of action, but it must be significant if it's scaring the Rangers off entirely. Reading the Jon Daniels quotes in that article make me think that it's possible that his whole 2009 season is in jeopardy.