Don't expect Sheets
Two weeks ago, free agent pitcher Ben Sheets and his agent, Casey Close, had dinner with the Rangers. Rangers owner Tom Hicks was at the dinner, which suggested things were getting serious.
Two weeks later, Sheets remains unsigned.
All signs points to him not being with the Rangers in 2008. It just doesn’t look like it will happen.
Hard evidence? None to offer. Logic? Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Spock and Barney Miller could figure out this one. Patrick Jane even.
There is no doubt that Sheets has physical issues. That part is obvious. How significant is not quite as obvious. But…
1. Some really really smart baseball people have refused to go anywhere near Sheets. Randy Wolf? Jon Garland? Brad Penny? Oliver Perez? Sorry. They aren’t in the same league as Sheets. Derek Lowe, Ryan Dempster and even A.J. Burnett aren’t either. Or Randy Johnson at this point. Yet the same general managers that pursued and signed those guys haven’t even glanced in Sheets directions. The physical part is significant.
2. Did the Rangers look? Yes. Sheets lives here and is from Louisana. He is also a No. 1 starter. That mandates the Rangers consider him. The Rangers also need pitching. That mandates Sheets being interested in them. It’s a perfect match. They had two weeks to get it done. Both have little in the way of alternatives. And it’s still not done.
3. The Rangers can’t afford him? Don’t go there. Budget? Economy? No. The owner of this team has been willing to commit when he feels it’s necessary. Millwood, Padilla, Zito, Kinsler, Young, amateur draft, international signings, ballpark improvement. Times are tough but Hicks would commit to Sheets if he felt the need. It’s obvious he doesn’t.
Something just doesn’t feel right. This just isn’t going to get done.