Braves sign Ben Sheets to minor league contract

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From FOX Sports.com’s Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Braves have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Ben Sheets.

Sheets hasn’t appeared in a major league game since July 9, 2010, when he was a member of the A’s. And he underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery a little under two years ago.

But the risk is quite low on a non-guaranteed deal.

Sheets owns a 3.79 career ERA and 1.22 career WHIP. He’s a four-time All-Star and earned National League Cy Young Award votes in 2004 after posting a sparkling 2.70 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 264/32 K/BB ratio across 237 regular-season innings with the Brewers.

The 33-year-old will head to Double-A Mississippi on Wednesday to begin pitching in live games.

Brewers promote David Stearns from GM to president of baseball operations

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It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”

Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.

Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.

The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.