Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gary Sheffield released by Tigers; Will anyone else want him?

DH Gary Sheffield was released by the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, a week before the regular season starts and with the well-traveled slugger only one home run shy of the magic number of 500. Sheff was coming off a rough spring training in which he only hit .118 but of his eight hits, five of them were homers.

The question now is, where will he end up?

Sheffield has said he wants to play in Tampa Bay, but the Rays signed Pat Burrell to be their designated hitter this offseason. The Rangers and Blue Jays have no interest either, according to Fox Sports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

Even though he is 40 years old, Sheffield can probably still be a moderately productive DH, especially at the $400,000 league minimum it will take to sign him. Ruling out National League teams, I could see the Twins and Royals as good fits for a power hitting right hander.

But what if Sheffield were willing to play first base? Or maybe the better question is, could he play first base? That would make him a more likely fit with an NL team, like the Pirates, Reds, Nationals or Giants.

One final wild card... The Mets. They passed on Bobby Abreu this offseason because they didn't want to add to their already lefty-heavy lineup. Maybe they should take a chance on Sheffield, plop him in right field and hope he can hold up. It would be an upgrade over Ryan Church, who will spend about five stints on the DL anyway this year.

Hey, they signed Moises Alou to a two-year deal a few seasons ago, so why not?

No comments: