SUNDAY, 2:40pm: Matthew Cerrone from MetsBlog tells us that Nick Evans was optioned to AAA in order to make room for Sheffield.
4:32pm: Mets GM Omar Minaya announced the signing, which is pending a physical. Will he help? A few projections:
Sheffield came up as a 20 year-old Brewers shortstop; he's now hanging on as a 40 year-old Mets platoon outfielder. Sheffield was willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Mets way back in November of '97, when the Marlins had their fire sale (according to a Jon Heyman Newsday article). He was eventually dealt to the Dodgers in May of '98.
2:33pm: SI.com's Jon Heyman says Sheffield agreed to sign with the Mets. An announcement is expected this afternoon.
12:08pm: Sherman adds that Mets GM Omar Minaya spoke to Sheffield directly recently to explain how he'd fit with the team. Meanwhile, several Phillies players have contacted Sheffield to lobby him to sign.
11:23am: According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are close to signing Gary Sheffield. The Mets plan to give him significant playing time. They'd only have to pay $400K and would consider Sheffield an option in both outfield corners. Sherman's source said:
"Unless something drastic happens, he is a Met. Someone would have to offer him a second year, and I just don't see that happening."
David Lennon of Newsday believes Sheffield could sign with the Mets as soon as tonight.