The Chicago Cubs, along with at least seven other teams, watched free agent pitcher Ben Sheets throw on Tuesday in Louisiana. Apparently, he looked pretty good.
The Louisiana native threw all of his pitches, topping out at 90 mph with the fastball. Sheets threw 20 pitches in each simulated inning, before fading and stopping his throwing in a third inning.
According to sources, the right-hander was throwing free and easy. Sheets will throw again next week, and the Cubs will send a scout to watch. Other teams also will be invited.
The Cubs never have tried to negotiated a contract with Sheets’ agent Casey Close. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry did talk to Close at the winter meetings about a number of different players and subjects.
Sheets was said to be asking $7 million in December. That figure probably has dropped, but no one is sure how low it will fall. ESPN Chicago.
Despite the Cubs’ official protestations, if Sheets’ salary demand really does drop far under $7 million, you have to believe the team will at least consider making an offer. However, as I’ve said before, the further his salary demand drops and the more he performs well at these throwing sessions, the more likely that other teams will get involved.
Those seven other teams weren’t just there to pick their butts.