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The Brewers also are facing the loss of free-agent left-hander CC Sabathia, who has yet to respond to their five-year, $100 million offer. Sabathia, 28, has received a six-year, $140 million offer from the Yankees and also is drawing interest from the Angels and Giants.

Sheets, 30, earned $11 million last season, and his salary could rise to $14 million on a one-year deal in arbitration. However, he and his agent are confident that other clubs would show strong interest in him on a short-term deal, the source said.

While Sheets pitched only 4 1/3 innings after Sept. 11 because of an elbow problem last season, his agent, Casey Close has said that there is no structural damage in the elbow, and that the pitcher simply needed time to rest and heal.

Sheets made 31 starts and pitched 198 1/3 innings last season, his highest totals since 2004. By remaining on the market, he could surpass the average salaries of less accomplished pitchers who signed free-agent deals in recent years.

Two years ago, the Royals awarded right-hander Gil Meche a five-year,$55 million contract, an average of $11 million per season. Last winter, the Mariners gave righty Carlos Silva a four-year, $48 million deal, an average of $12 million.

Sheets, 86-83 lifetime with a 3.72 ERA, probably would not receive as long a contract as either of those pitchers. Still, a two-year deal at a higher average salary would be more attractive for him than a one-year deal with the Brewers, who also could re-sign him to a multi-year deal.

By offering arbitration to both Sabathia and Sheets, the Brewers ensured that they will receive draft-pick compensation if either or both depart.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 3, 2008

Milwaukee Brewers News

News » Source: Brewers' Sheets likely to decline arbitration

Source: Brewers' Sheets likely to decline arbitration

Source: Brewers' Sheets likely to decline arbitration
Right-hander Ben Sheets is likely to decline the Brewers' offer of salary arbitration, according to a major-league source, leaving the team with two potentially major holes in its rotation.

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