Gary Sheffield Released by Detroit Tigers: Will Anyone Want Him?

LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 05:  Gary Sheffield #3 of the Detroit Tigers bats during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 5, 2009 in Lakeland, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Tony ArnoldineCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2009

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. Of his eight hits, five of them were homers.

The question now is where he will 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'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.

What if Sheffield were willing to play first base? 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?

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