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MLB Rumors: Atlanta Braves Among Teams Watching Ben Sheets Pitch

Ben Sheets used to be an ace. Used to be.

Armed with a hard fastball and filthy breaking pitches, Sheets appeared ready to become one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, if not the best.

About 19 arm surgeries and injuries later, and now Sheets is looking for employment for the second half of the 2012 season. A handful of clubs watched him throw this week, including the Atlanta Braves.

Is there any chance Atlanta could look into signing the 33-year-old starter to a contract for a few months?

The quick answer: No.

Why? For one, Sheets' elbow has been operated on about three times in the last few years, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. He's made a total of 20 starts since 2008 and would require at least a few weeks in the Minor Leagues to prepare for the riggers of the big leagues, if not longer.

The Braves don't exactly have a lot of spending cash, and it seems unlikely that a veteran starting pitcher as himself would go through all of the rehab work required to pitch again for a few thousand dollars. Any deal Sheets signs is going to be for at least a million dollars, with plenty of incentive money included.

That may not seem like a ton of cash in the baseball world, but it'd be for two months of service (assuming he's healthy, of course) and also likely negates any other chances the Braves have at making a mid-season acquisition.

Sheets could be a fit if he's willing to come cheap, but I don't think there's much to this other than Atlanta doing their due diligence to a once-promising pitcher.

For more on the Braves be sure to check out Talking Chop.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.