Sheffield mum on a potential deal

Other than Pedro Feliciano, the Met seemingly most likely to be traded would be Gary Sheffield,
currently under contract for the league minimum of $400,000.

Sheffield, who is also on the Tigers payroll for vastly more money, signed on with the Mets
in April for two reasons: he already had a house in New York, and he
wanted to play for a contender.

Three months later, he still has a house in New York — but he’s no
longer playing for a contender. And so if the Mets were so inclined to
nab a prospect for their $400,000 investment, now would be the time to
do so.

Trouble is, the Mets on Saturday placed Sheffield on the 15-day disabled list
with a right hamstring strain. Any team that takes
him would have to stomach that gamble — though it’s admittedly not much of one
considering his salary.

Don’t assume that Sheffield will be traded, however. In truth, he
probably won’t. No team is going to give up much for a 40-year-old
slugger with injury problems, who can barely play the outfield.
Moreover, from the Mets’ perspective, trading Sheffield would
effectively be waving the white flag. He is their leading home run
hitter, and if the Mets have any remaining designs on streaking toward
a playoff berth, they’ll need him in the lineup to do it. From a marketing perspective, dealing him would be tough.

On the one hand, you have to think that Sheffield wants out. But on the
other hand, it’s hard to believe the Mets have enough incentive to deal
him. For what it’s worth, here’s Sheffield’s take, delivered before he
knew he was headed to the DL:

“I don’t know. I don’t ask those kinds of questions until they happen,
because if I say yeah, or if I say no — either one I say it’s going to be
controversial.”

–Anthony DiComo

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