Breaking News: Mets Sign Sheffield

According to, the Mets have signed Gary Sheffield. It is believed the contract will be for the league minimum $400,000 – the Tigers would presumably pay the rest of Sheffield’s contract:

Sheffield chose the Mets over the Phillies and Reds because he believes he’ll get more playing time with the Mets — although Mets people have said no promises have been made.

He’s expected to be mainly a right-handed pinch hitter off the bench and occasionally spell Ryan Church in right field. Mets people also hope the added competition might spur Church, who struggled in the second half last year.

Let’s see…

  • Aging Slugger… Check
  • Bad Attitude… Check
  • Right Handed Power Bat in the Outfield… Check

It looks like the only thing holding back the Mets from signing Manny Ramirez was a few million dollars.

John Fitzgerald is an independent film/TV producer. In 2007, he followed former Mets 2B Wally Backman and his minor league team for the TV show, "Playing for Peanuts." Click here for DVD ordering information NOTE: $5 from each sale goes to maintenance costs of
  1. wohjr April 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm
    So whose roster spot does this take??? Reed?
  2. Andrew Vazzano April 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm
    Nah, Sheff will take Evans or Anderson’s spot. Reed is safe.
  3. wohjr April 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm
    Evans is already going down to make room for livan… and marlon can play the infield… but I guess so can tatis
  4. isuzudude April 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm
    Again, I pose the question, what can Gary Sheffield bring to the table that Andruw Jones can’t, besides a weaker defensive presence, 10 more years of age, and a more cantankerous attitude? The Mets essentially had their pick of either player during the course of the first 3+ months of 2009, and yet pass on Jones but jump on Shef. Piss poor decision making if you ask me.
  5. John Fitzgerald April 3, 2009 at 4:30 pm
    ‘Dude… I’m not sure I agree about Andruw Jones. Sure, he’s younger, but I think Sheffield is a better hitter even at this point in their respective careers. I also heard (not confirmed) that Jones would prefer to stay in Texas if he can’t find a starting job elsewhere.

    I question why the Mets didn’t go after Wily Mo Pena or even Dallas MacPherson. There are a few other right-handed bats still available, but Sheffield is the biggest PR splash that Omar could muster on a tight budget.

  6. John Fitzgerald April 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm is reporting that Sheffield will likely platoon with Church in RF.
  7. GaryG April 3, 2009 at 9:09 pm
    Joe, I couldn’t have stated it better than you did. This guy is a cancer. I hate this much like I hated the Brett Favre signing for my Jets. Only justification I can come up with is that maybe the Mets suspect that Church is not completely healthy. Cos this deal stinks like a dead fish.
  8. isuzudude April 4, 2009 at 9:10 am
    John, you make a good point regarding Jones’ desire to play in NY. Perhaps he never considered the Mets as a possible destination. But at this stage in their careers, if Andruw had given the Mets an opportunity to sign him, I’d definitely prefer Jones over Shef.

    However, I strongly disagree about the signing of Shef being a “big PR splash.” First of all, last night was the first game the Mets ever played at their new CitiField, yet that huge story needed to share the spotlight with the team’s signing of Sheffield. Much like last year’s firing of Willie, which occured after a victory and when the team was in California, the timing is terrible. Secondly, all we’ve been hearing about this spring, despite the high number of players participating in the WBC, is that the Mets have this new sense of team unity and camaraderie. Why now, when there’s less than 4 days before the start of the season, does Omar choose to potentially wreck the cohesion by injecting a known malcontent into the fold? Thirdly, how great of a PR move is it when you have your own broadcast team openly questioning the acquisition on last night’s telecast? I praise Gary, Keith, and Ron for speaking their minds and not sugar coating everything because they follow the Mets, and their questions last night about how Sheffield will adapt to his new role and what impact he could have in the clubhouse and with the other players that he steals playing time from were dead on. To me, the signing of Sheffield is more of the negative PR the team needs to desperately separate themselves from, which kept bearing its ugly head last year during the managerial change, Church’s concussion treatment, Heilman’s struggles in the bullpen, and Castillo’s ineffectiveness at 2B. If everything was hunky-dorey before the signing, and the Mets were projected to be a 90+ win, playoff-bound team, then why throw the monkey wrench into the equation now – especially of the Gary Sheffield ilk?

  9. Ryan April 4, 2009 at 11:05 am
    Might be George Foster ’86. Always look on the bright side.
  10. sincekindergarten April 4, 2009 at 11:49 am
    I think that the main attraction for signing Sheff over either Manny or Andruw comes down to thi$–The Almighty Dollar. Sheff is due $14 mil this year, but the Mets are on the hook for $400,000 of that, with Detroit owing the other $13.6 mil.
  11. sincekindergarten April 4, 2009 at 11:57 am
    To expound on my “clever” restating of what Joe said above, when the Madoff thing went down, the Wilpons lost how much again? $300 million? How much building of the team could have taken place then? It’s a perfect low financial risk, high possible reward-type signing.
  12. isuzudude April 4, 2009 at 12:30 pm
    But if Shef is already guarenteed to earn $14-mil in 2009 from sources other than the Mets, he has no motivation to be Mr. Team Player in NY. He can sulk, create discension, play lousy defense, and continue to hit .220, but he’ll only be out of $400 grand if he gets cut. Unless he REALLY wants to win another world championship before he retires, I don’t see why he’s going to try all that hard to blend in to his surroundings with the Mets. Andruw Jones needs to produce to keep his job, get paid, and seek future employment. Sheffield’s already collecting big bucks and is close to hanging up the cleats, so I just don’t see where he’s going to get his motivation from.
  13. John Fitzgerald April 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm
    ‘Dude, ‘Dude, ‘Dude…

    As usual, you make a good point. As usual, I think I wasn’t clear in explaining what I meant. My bad.

    The Willie firing is a perfect example of mishandling of a situation by the Mets brass, in an attempt to spin it as a positive. The Mets are woefully inept when it comes to PR – whether positive or negative. The problem is usually caused by trying to make everything seem rosy when it is obvious that things are far worse than they let on (see also: Kazmir trade, firing Bobby V after he had been given the job for life, etc.).

    Back to Sheffield – I think Omar wanted Manny. I think he realizes this is a severely flawed team. I think Omar knew that he needed a powerful right-handed bat in the outfield. I think he’s right.

    The Madoff scandal may have hit the Mets harder than the Wilpons would like to admit. That is understandable, but they would prefer it if Mets fans thought Manny wasn’t a fit for the Mets because of his age, attitude, etc… I don’t believe that for a second.

    Sheffield is a poor man’s Manny and that’s why the Mets got him. They NEEDED Manny, but they will settle for Sheffield.

    Looking at the other available RH power bats (Pena, Jones, McPherson, Frank Thomas, etc. etc.), Sheffield is the only guy who you could possibly expect to have a big year if everything works out perfectly – he’s a scrap heap pickup with a big name and he might have one big year left in his bat. And if not, Omar can say it just didn’t work out and it was only 400k… This is standard operating procedure.

    From a PR perspective, the Mets are hoping this will give the Mets the right-handed pop they need and it will erase the memory of Manny from the mind of the collective fanbase. Although the move may help the Mets on the field, I think they lost a ton of goodwill with the fanbase with this signing.

    And losing goodwill with the fanbase is typical of how the Mets handle things. There’s your PR splash. Ugh.

  14. Steve_B April 5, 2009 at 1:42 am
    Yeah,and if Sheff produces and becomes a positive force off the bench,then you’ll all be singing his praises and saying what a good move it was to bring him on board.Probably the same type of “fans” that bellyached about Willie Randolph being fired as manager,but now kiss Jerry Manuel’s behind and praise him for “being just what this team needed” lol. You can come out of your cubbyholes,the sky hasn’t fallen….
  15. murph April 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm
    The fact that Detroit is willing to pay him $14million NOT to play tells me all I need to know about Sheffield.
  16. isuzudude April 5, 2009 at 4:49 pm
    Hey Steve…you may want to actually visit this blog and read its comments on a more frequent basis if you’re going to be throwing around accusations and insults. Because all you’re doing is making yourself look like a fool. This has been one of the most critical blogs on Jerry Manuel since he took over for Willie, and the majority of us here see past the media’s love affair and call him out on his mistakes when necessary. However, to stay on your theme, will you return to this blog and congratulate us for being right if Sheffield turns out to be a flop and a bad influence, as predicted? I’m curious to see if you reside on two-way street, or if you’re just interest in throwing stones.
  17. murph April 5, 2009 at 6:04 pm
    Oh, and John, I just realized it was you posting and not John.


  18. murph April 5, 2009 at 6:05 pm
    I meant not Joe.
  19. Walnutz15 April 6, 2009 at 10:34 am
    1. The Mets can NEVER say no to a cheap “name” signing — what everybody’s been crying about since Friday? I have no idea….the shock and awe aspect of it all is pretty interesting, too. If there’s one thing we’ve seen, time and time again, this team NEVER does what you think they’re going to. It’s almost always the complete opposite.

    2. With so many left-handed crap-outs, Sheffield from the RH-side is a beautiful alternative. Marlon Anderson is making over a million dollars this season; Jeremy Reed will be paid something like 900k…..Sheffield will be paid 400k.

    (P.S. — Why not just cut Marlon Anderson at this point….the same people crying over Sheff’s negative influence are probably the ones who cite Anderson’s “clubhouse presence” as a reason to keep him. It’s time for this team to grow a pair…)

    3. Murphy will be going around the league with scouting reports now in-hand — and Ryan Church may or may not blossom into an everyday RF. Sheffield as a 400k insurance policy is an absolute no-brainer.

    4. If he acts up, then you cut him…..plain and simple. The Mets need to be proactive in lieu of passive in this case….it gets to that point, and you just break out the scissors.

    He’ll only become a “distraction” if management allows it.

    Good job by the Mets here… we’ll see how it plays out in actuality.