Today was the day that Ben Sheets was going to audition for.....I mean....pitch for about 10-15 major league clubs and apparently his outing was tremendous. Ed Price from AOL Fanhouse heard from a scout who was at Sheets outing and told him the following:
Sheets "looked good physically and was in good shape" and should be equal to or ahead of other pitchers when spring training opens.
"No red flags," the scout said. "No restrictions. He threw nice and loose.
"It couldn't have gone any better."
Prior to today's audition, Joel Pineiro was considered the best pitcher on the market, and he had interest from the Mets, Dodgers and Angels. Now that Sheets threw so well today, teams in the market for starting pitching will most certainly turn their attention to Sheets and keep Pineiro on the back burner.
This could result in Pineiro lowering his contract demands, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him sign quickly before the market for his services shrinks even more. Once Sheets signs, there will be only a few teams with interest in Pineiro.
Looking at the teams interested in Sheets, I would count out the Phillies as they had to trade Cliff Lee before trading and signing Roy Halladay. I would rule out the Reds as they are up against their 2010 budget, and the Cubs as they already have six starting pitchers.
The Rangers were rumored to have the inside track on Sheets as their pitching coach, Mike Maddux, is very familiar with Sheets as he was the pitching coach in Milwaukee when Sheets was there two years ago. But, I would not count out the Mets and Dodgers, as both teams are desperate for a starting pitcher.
Pitching for the Mets offers Sheets the advantage of a huge pitchers park, so his numbers could look very good there. Pitching for the Dodgers offers Sheets the chance to pitch for a team that can win their division and go far in the playoffs, and is a very nice pitchers park as well.