Teams interested in free agent right-hander Ben Sheets have a new medical report to examine, according to MLB executives, and it is this new information that may have sparked some renewed interest in the talented pitcher.
Sheets is one of several accomplished free agents whose market has been slow to develop, and in his case it may have been hampered by concerns about his health. Two executives who were privy to the original medical report said that while there was nothing disqualifying or believed to be debilitating even on that report, there were multiple issues. It is apparently those issues that hampered his market.
Now baseball executives tell SI.com that Sheets has provided more updated medical information in recent days, and teams are currently poring over the newer data.
Sheets has missed time with a variety if ailments over his career but has been healthy enough to go 86-83. He went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA last year, but his market was slowed by concerns about a late-season flexor tendon ailment. That injury isn't necessarily believed to be serious. However, Sheets' effectiveness was limited late in the season after his big start (he started the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium), enough to cause hesitation on the part of interested teams in a cautious and tight free-agent market.
The Rangers have long been considered a favorite for the Louisiana native. Sheets met with Texas for a second time this week. The Mets are among other teams to show interest, but they are believed to be focused on another free agent, lefthander Oliver Perez, who has pitched for them since the middle of the 2006 season.