Ben Sheets To Hold Audition Next Tuesday

Hoping to attract more interest on the free agent market and perhaps a bigger contract, former Milwaukee Brewers’ ace Ben Sheets is holding essentially what becomes an open audition next Tuesday at the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe according to ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian.

According to Kurkjian’s source, six to 10 teams will be in attendance scouting Sheets. I think this is a pretty smart move by Sheets and his agent.

Sheets will throw for teams on Tuesday

Sheets is perhaps the highest risk and highest reward pitcher out of all the high risk pitchers left on the market. At least Erik Bedard pitched last season.

Sheets was on the shelf all of last year.

Sheets missed the entire 2009 season with a torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow. Sheets thought he might be able to come back after the All-Star break, but never made it back.

In 2008, Sheets made 30+ starts for the first time since 2004. He went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA and struck out 158 in 198.1 innings. However, it was in his final start of the 2008 season trying to get the Brewers in the playoffs, where Sheets torn his flexor tendon.

If Sheets’ arm does feel “fantastic” as he said, then he has everything to gain with this audition. If Sheets shows he still has the velocity and the “stuff,” he and his agent can engage in a bidding war, which will only raise his price.

I would highly doubt Sheets would hold this audition if he wasn’t ready to go. If he is not ready, then him and his agent are the two dumbest people involved in the baseball industry. Well, they would be second and third behind Mark McGwire.

One of the six to ten teams that will view Sheets on Tuesday will be the Chicago Cubs. And that’s where I think Sheets ends up. Ted Lilly won’t be available until late April, early May, so the Cubs could use another pitcher to add depth in their rotation.

However, no matter how well Sheets throws on Tuesday, don’t expect him to get anything more than a one-year, incentive laden deal.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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