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12/09/08 8:03 PM EST

Girardi impressed after meeting Sheets

Manager believes righty is healthy; offer could be on horizon

LAS VEGAS -- Joe Girardi came away impressed from a meeting with free-agent right-hander Ben Sheets, and the Yankees manager is pleased with the thought of fitting him for pinstripes.

While the Yankees wait for a response from CC Sabathia, they have occupied their time in Las Vegas by continuing to press the starting-pitching market. That brought Sheets up front late Monday, in a discussion attended by GM Brian Cashman, Girardi and the righty's agent, Casey Close.

"I thought that was a good meeting," Girardi said. "Obviously, I faced Ben Sheets when I was with the Cubs and have admired the work that he's done over the years. It was good to talk to him about his health, his routines, what he likes to do. He was a very open young man and he was impressive."

The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that, according to a source, the pitching-hungry Yankees are preparing to offer Sheets a multiyear deal believed to be for two years and about $30 million. The offer is expected to be made before the Meetings wrap up on Thursday.

Sheets is 86-83 in his career with a 3.73 ERA, but has missed significant time due to injury in four of his eight seasons in the Major Leagues, all with the Brewers.

Sheets missed the 2008 National League Division Series after suffering a muscle tear in his right elbow near the end of the regular season, and Girardi said that Sheets' time being kept off the mound is the only reason he is not being considered in the class of a pitcher like Sabathia, who continues to mull a six-year, $140 million offer from New York.

"His numbers stack up against anyone's," Girardi said of Sheets. "He's healthy now, we believe. He's had some injuries, but injuries are what have kept him out of that class. When he's on the mound, he's dynamite."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.