AL West Update: Ben Sheets and the A's

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick wrote about Ben Sheets, who still lives in the Dallas area and had a deal with the Rangers before last season, when he failed a physical. Sheets signed with the Oakland A's, meaning he'll get some chances to pitch against Texas this season. Part of the story:

When the Athletics spent $10 million on a one-year contract for Sheets, they were betting on a return to form by the pitcher who made four All-Star teams while with Milwaukee, struck out 264 batters at age 25 and averaged 225 innings during a three-year stretch with the Brewers.

And if Sheets isn't vintage Big Ben or Oakland fades from American League West contention by July, general manager Billy Beane will try to flip him at the trade deadline, and Sheets will swap his Kelly green, Fort Knox gold and wedding-gown white for a contending team's colors.

The column continues later with this:

The signing was momentous enough that several A's remembered precisely where they were when they got the news. Manager Bob Geren was having a flat tire repaired when Beane called, and he had to step outside to escape the noise from his lug nuts being removed.

Braden was so excited, he tracked down Sheets' phone number and sent his new teammate a "Welcome to Oakland '' text message. To his delight, Sheets responded almost immediately.

"He told me, 'I want you to get your working boots on, because it's going to be a fun year,'" Braden said. "That was awesome to hear. Here's a four-time All-Star texting me back when he's got nothing invested yet. And he's ready to work. You hear that and you know you've got the right guy.''

So clearly the A's are excited. Click here for a quick look at Sheets' value in the A's rotation.