Sheets May Be A Ranger Yet

The right-hander is rehabbing with Texas' team orthopedist

Remember a few months ago, when the Cowboys were still playing in that quaint, dilapidated relic in Irving, and Ben Sheets was gracing the pages of North Texas newspapers no less than once or twice a week?
Of course you do.
The Rangers’ brass and Sheets went back and forth for much of the winter. The Rangers wanted to give him a one-year deal, Sheets and his agent, Casey Close, wanted a multi-year deal. With Spring Training on the horizon, Sheets and the Rangers agreed on a two-year deal, before Sheets failed a physical and it was revealed that the 30 year-old would need reconstructive surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right elbow.
The idea of Sheets in a Rangers uniform went away, more or less, for a few weeks until now. So it goes.
Sheets, who lives in Highland Park, had surgery on February 10, and is now rehabbing his reconstructed elbow with Rangers’ team orthopedist Keith Meister.
The Rangers insist that the relationship between Sheets and Meister will not be an advantage over other teams in the market for the right-hander. Sheets insists that he went to Meister of his own accord, without consulting the team.
This might be true. But one has to give the early-advantage to Texas in the Ben Sheets sweepstakes once he is healthy.
For one, the embattled starter was all but in uniform before finding out his elbow was on the verge of combusting not so spontaneously. As mentioned earlier, the 30 year-old calls Dallas home in the off-season. And most importantly in this maelstrom of an economy, the Rangers are looking at a potential-ace for the price of middle-relief.
Health has been a persistent question mark for Sheets throughout the majority of his career. However, the number one spot in the Rangers’ rotation has been a question for longer than that. There is no doubt that the Rangers will have the first look at a healthy, post-rehab Ben Sheets; if they like what they see, I’d advocate pulling the trigger.
In all likelihood, this will be a relatively low-risk, high-reward signing. There’s just no way Sheets can ask for all that much with a sore elbow; not in this economy. And if he does return with Texas in 2010, we’re looking at a legitimately exciting pitching staff for the first time in more than a decade.

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