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Sheets seeking $8 million deal; Cubs, Rays eyeing Park


The A's, Rangers and Mets are among teams considering free agent pitcher Ben Sheets, who raised his value with what was described by several scouts as an excellent showcase last week in Monroe, La.

The A's tried this winter for Marco Scutaro, Adrian Beltre and Jamey Carroll, and they appear very much in the mix for Sheets. The AL West rival Rangers, who are getting a new ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, also are looking at Sheets. The Mets came up a bit short in their efforts to sign Joel Pineiro, who went to the Angels for $16 million over two years and are looking at Sheets, Jon Garland, John Smoltz and Jarrod Washburn.

Sheets has been seeking a guarantee of $8 million for 2010, according to an NL executive, and after the way he threw last week he may get it. Scouts who witnessed it said he was throwing 87 to 92 mph and had his old curveball.

Sheets missed the 2009 season after surgery to repair a flexor tendon muscle but he's been an ace in the past and his workout was good enough that some teams think he can be that pitcher again. About 20 teams are believed to have scouted Sheets' workout, including the three aforementioned teams and the Brewers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Mariners and Cubs.

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A four-time All-Star with the Brewers, Sheets went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 2008 in his most recent big league season.

The Cubs and Rays are among teams eyeing veteran free agent pitcher Chan Ho Park, who did a nice job for the Phillies last year, especially in the postseason.

Park was 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 84 innings or Philadelphia last season and became a go-to guy in the Phillies pen in the postseason. He threw 3 1/3 shutout innings in the World Series.