Gary Sheffield’s Next Team

Gary Sheffield still wants to play. Actually, he wants to play a lot. Ten days ago, a source told's Bill Ladson that Sheffield was still looking for an everyday job. But ask Jermaine Dye how easy it is for aging sluggers to find jobs these days. Dye is five years younger than Sheffield and hit 17 more homers last year, but he hasn't seen an offer he likes. It is not surprising to see the 41-year-old Sheffield unsigned at this point in the offseason.

His defense is far from passable (-12.7 UZR last year in 500 innings), but he adds value with his bat. Sheffield, who is just 311 hits away from 3000, posted a .276/.372/.451 line in New York last year.

The Mets have not contacted Sheffield, but the slugger told the New York Post earlier in the month that he had "things on the table" from other clubs. Let's take a look at how Sheffield would fit on some MLB rosters, starting in the American League, where he can DH:
  • The Blue Jays have Jose Bautista and Randy Ruiz competing for at bats in the outfield and at DH, so the competition is not overwhelming. There's very little chance the rebuilding Jays could turn Sheffield into something valuable at the deadline (that applies to any club).
  • The Rays already have one positionless player. Pat Burrell joins Matt Joyce, Fernando Perez, Gabe KaplerReid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez and Dan Johnson in pursuit of limited roster spots, so Sheffield doesn't appear to be a fit in Tampa.  
  • Like the Rays, the Red Sox, Indians, Royals, Angels, Rangers and A's have little need for an extra DH.
  • The Marlins don't have much outfield depth after Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin and Cody Ross
  • The Cardinals and Astros have limited outfield depth, too.
  • The Nationals have been adding veterans all offseason long, but they have enough outfielders already. 

There doesn't appear to be an everyday job out there for Sheffield. At this point, it appears likely that he'll have to retire, wait for someone to get injured, or accept a minor league deal and a limited role.