There was a time when Ben Sheets was an excellent—albeit injury prone—pitcher. The former first round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers accumulated at least 3.7 fWAR in six out of seven seasons between 2002 and 2008, including a surreal 8.0 fWAR in 2004. Had it not been for his 12-14 record that year (a result of terrible run support from his Brewer teammates), we might be talking about Sheets as a former Cy Young Award winner.
Sheets’ career has been derailed by injuries and hasn’t pitched in the Majors since making 20 starts in 2010 with the Oakland Athletics where he posted a career-worst 4.40 SIERA in 119.1 innings.
Today, however, the Atlanta Braves announced that they are going to facilitate the 33-year-old’s comeback attempt by signing him to a minor league deal. He’ll report to AA-Mississippi where he’s expected to make his first professional start in nearly two years on Wednesday.
The contract is non-guaranteed so there’s very little risk for the Braves who might be able to harvest some value from a cheap, unexpected source.
Sheets has a career 3.79 ERA in 241 career starts amassing a 7.50/2.07/1.04 career pitcher slash line.*