Gary Sheffield Soon To Be a Red?

dave TempleContributor IApril 2, 2009

LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 05:  Gary Sheffield #3 of the Detroit Tigers watches the action 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)

The Cincinnati Reds may be burning some midnight oil trying to fill the left field spot before Opening Day. The search may payoff big in the acquisition of outfielder Gary Sheffield.

700 WLW-AM reported through an interview with Reds manager Dusty Baker that the Reds do have an interest in the 40-year-old outfielder. Sheffield is said to be interested in coming to play for Baker and would fill a legitimate need in Cincinnati's line-up.

Sheffield has 499 career home runs and a .292 average. Last year with the Tigers, he hit .225 with 19 home runs and 57 RBI in 114 games. He was hampered by lingering pain in his surgically repaired shoulders for most of the year. This spring, he was reportedly healthy, but hit .178 (8-for-45) with three home runs at the time of his release.

The best part of the deal is that Detroit would have to pay Sheffield's $14 million guaranteed contract, allowing Cincinnati to in effect lease him out for a year and fix one of the teams deficiencies going into the 2009 season.

The question becomes, does Cincinnati need another aging star after dumping Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn or should it try to compete with its recent purge towards youth? I would like to hear your comments on this one, as we work towards the Reds-Mets home opener on Monday, April the 6th.