We’re well-overdue for a Ben Sheets rumor. I like Michael Hunt’s point on what could be the inevitable departure of Sheets:
"Chances are this is Big Ben’s last season with the Brewers, unless another medical anomaly throws a fat one over the heart of the team’s checkbook. But that’s the catch: The Brewers need him to be so good and healthy that he’ll be out of their economic grasp. Such is their balancing act… Absent the miraculous – the union agreeing to a salary drag – the Brewers can’t keep everyone. Maybe there’s your Sheets decision."
If Hunt is right and Sheets has to leave, with Yovani Gallardo in the wings and a youthful studly lineup locked up the Brewers should be just fine. Sheets is due $11MM this year, the final year of his contract, with a limited no-trade clause (can be dealt to only 8 teams). There’s a long list of starting pitching in the 2009 MLB free agent pool and if Sheets can remain healthy then he could even be up for a pay raise.