ST. PETERSBURG - APRIL 25: Pitcher Ben Sheets #15 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on April 25, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Ben Sheets threw for teams this week, and he's considering a comeback.
As recently as 2008, Ben Sheets was a fantastic pitcher -- one of the best in the game when healthy. Ah, that caveat. When healthy. He wasn't healthy often, and after a disappointing 2010 season with the Oakland Athletics, Sheets retired.
But according to MLB Trade Rumors, Sheets is throwing for teams and considering a comeback.
Righty Ben Sheets threw for scouts today in Monroe, Louisiana, MLBTR has learned. Scouts from the Phillies, Braves, Yankees, and Angels were in attendance.
Sheets had one of the more amazing and underrated pitching seasons ever for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004, when he threw 237 innings, struck out 264 batters, walked only 32, had an ERA of 2.70 ... and finished eighth in the Cy Young voting with a 12-14 record. He never pitched over 200 innings again, though, throwing 198 in 2008 before requiring Tommy John surgery.
The A's took an unprecedented gamble, signing Sheets after his major surgery, and paying $10 million for him. He should get many millions less this time around, but you can still see why teams are interested. It's worth noting that Ben Sheets is still just 33 -- one year younger than Ryan Vogelsong.