MLB.com reporter Jesse Sanchez put together a roundup of Ben Sheets’ Tuesday throwing session, during which he threw more than 50 pitches in front of scouts, a few coaches and MLB Network’s Trenni Kusnierek. You can read the story and watch video of Sheets from Trenni here. And there’s also a story from the local newspaper in Monroe, La.
Two money quotes from the Sheets coverage. First, from the man himself: ”I’ve been healthy before in my life and I feel every bit as good as I have in any point of my career,” Sheets said. “That’s what I judge off of. What happens tomorrow or in seven years from now, I don’t know. We are all kind of a walking time bomb and any injury can happen at any time. But at this point, right now, I feel great.”
And this, from Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: ”Our scout said there was nothing untoward to report either way,” said Ash. “From what we’ve been told, his expectations [for a contract] are way beyond what we think we can do.”
MLB Network analysts Jon Heyman and Tom Verducci guessed last night that Sheets would get a deal similar to Brad Penny’s pact with the Cardinals, which guarantees $7.5 million with $1.5 million more available in incentives. Barring some other moves to free payroll, that’s out of the Brewers’ price range. Never mind the inherent risk of signing someone who didn’t pitch the previous season.
But if Sheets stays healthy in 2010 and resembles his former self, he could end up being the best signing of the offseason. The Reds, Cubs and Cardinals were among the National League Central clubs with scouts at Tuesday’s showcase.
In other former Brewers news, I saw on the website MLB Trade Rumors, via the Philadelphia Daily News, that Eric Gagne will work out for the Phillies today. Gagne last pitched in the Majors in 2008 with Milwaukee and actually finished the year strong as a setup man after flaming out as the closer.