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The Mets' Ben Sheets conundrum

Pitcher Ben Sheets #15 of the National League

Pitcher Ben Sheets #15 of the National League All-Stars throws against the American League All-Stars during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. (July 15, 2008) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sometimes, Ben Sheets drove the Brewers batty. Other times, he pitched them right back into relevance. He rarely did both at the same time.

Look at his numbers. He reminds me of A.J. Burnett. He rarely let you down when he actually took the mound. He just let you down that he didn't take the mound more often.

And now, this baseball winter has evolved in such a fashion that the Mets have to seriously consider signing Sheets as their major rotation addition.

Their top choice, Joel Pineiro, is off the board, having gone to the Angels. And while many teams have been associated with Sheets in speculation form, we don't yet know how high the bidding will go, especially with many clubs seemingly close to tapped out - which the Mets are definitely not.

Would you go for it, Mets fans? Would you give him the $7.5 million that Texas guaranteed Rich Harden, plus offer plenty more incentives? The stakes are high.

Best-case scenario: Sheets and Johan Santana give the Mets as good a 1-2 combination as anyone in the NL.

Wosrt-case scenario: Sheets pitches 50 innings, suffers another arm injury. "Bring back Livan!" signs can be seen at Citi Field.

I admit, I'm not sure what the Mets should do. Jon Garland is still hanging out there, and he's pretty much the opposite of Sheets: Lower upside, higher downside. The guy throws 200 innings, year after year after year, and keeps his team in the game. Given the current state of the Mets' rotation, that seems like a huge asset.

My sense is, right now, the Mets have prioritized Sheets over Garland. But there's still more negotiating to be done.

It's a tough call. To quote Dr. Hibbert from this episode of "The Simpsons," "Well, I couldn't possibly solve this mystery."

(The mystery being "Who should they sign?" rather than "Who will they sign?" I'm working on the latter question.)



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