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Report: Sheets, Rangers deal off due to potential surgery

TSN.ca Staff

2/5/2009 7:39:06 PM

An arm injury could force free agent pitcher Ben Sheets to have surgery.

According to MLB.com, the veteran right-hander had an agreement in place with the Texas Rangers on a two-year contract last week, but discussions fell apart when it was discovered Sheet could need surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow.

According to SI.com, Sheets is planning on undergoing surgery and is hopeful to return for the second half of the 2009 season.

The situation has become complicated with regards to who will pay for the surgical procedure. Sheets was with the Brewers last season and his camp, Major League Baseball and the Milwaukee font office have been in talks to determine who will pay.

"We're working our way through all of the details and we don't know the answer yet," explained Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash to MLB.com. "Major League Baseball has regulations related to workers comp and there are procedures and protocols that have to be respected. We're working our way through those so I can't give you much insight other than that."

Sheets started the All-Star game for the National League last season. Overall, he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 starts for Milwaukee and made $12.1 million in 2008. He declined a salary arbitration offer from the Brewers.

Sheets missed the Brewers' playoff run due to the injury and Ash told MLB.com that surgery was not mentioned back then. Ash told MLB.com the prognosis at the time was "with rest and exercise and rehab, [Sheets] should be fine."

The Rangers now appear to be out of the running to land Sheets.

"We've maintained contact but I'm not optimistic at this point," Texas general manager Jon Daniels told MLB.com on Thursday.