Starting pitcher Ben Sheets, theoretically recovered from elbow surgery last year, is still looking for a 2010 home. There haven’t been many clues as to where Sheets will ultimately end up, nor how much he’ll ultimately make, but we do know that the Chicago Cubs are interested.
Whatever happens, Sheets isn’t making it easy on himself. According to a published report, the Baltimore Orioles recently requested Sheets’ medical records in order to evaluate whether and how much to offer Sheets in a contract. Sheets’ representatives never even bothered to respond to the Orioles.
There are really only two possible explanations for Sheets’ refusal to provide his medical records to the Orioles:
1.) Ben Sheets is really picky. He’s doesn’t like the Orioles, and knows he won’t sign with them no matter what.
If he’s already received plenty of interest, this makes some sense. But on the other hand, why diminish the market for yourself? Even if Sheets doesn’t want to go to Baltimore, it never hurts to get an offer to bounce off other teams.
That’s why the second possible explanation could be more likely:
2.) Ben Sheets is really crazy. He expects teams to make him an offer as though his health is no concern.
If that’s the case, Ben – good luck. His health was already a concern before he missed all of 2009 following elbow surgery. Of course teams are going to want to review his medical records before making any kind of real commitment to him for 2010 or beyond. If Sheets plans to play it this way with all teams, they will no doubt assume he’s got something to hide.
The Cubs were already going to be unlikely to offer him much more than a token base salary and opportunity for incentives in 2010, and perhaps a big money option year in 2011. If he plays this medical record game with the Cubs, should they begin a serious pursuit, how could they justify even that kind of contract?