Sheffield, 40, was released by the Detroit Tigers earlier this week, prompting interest from the Reds, Phillies, and Mets. The Mets jumped at the chance to add another power bat to their lineup. It will cost them only $400,000, with Detroit picking up the rest of the $14 million owed to him this year.
Signing Sheffield gives the Mets a solid right-handed hitter in their outfield. This also gives the Mets some depth in case Daniel Murphy struggles and Ryan Church continues his slump against left-handed pitching.
The move will probably force the Mets to option Nick Evans to Triple-A. Evans was supposed to be on the roster until Livan Hernandez started on April 11. The Mets could also move Angel Pagan or Jeremy Reed to Triple-A.
Everyone's main concern with Sheffield is his injury history and his age. Typically, those are not a good combination. However, the Mets have seen him and believe that he can still compete, both at the plate and in the outfield.
Also, with Murphy and Church guaranteed to get a decent amount of playing time, Sheffield is guaranteed to get a decent amount of rest.
When Sheffield plays, he will extend the Mets' lineup and provide a good eye and good power in the bottom half of the order.
With Murphy in left and Sheffield in right, the lineup looks like this:
Reyes, Murphy, Wright, Delgado, Beltran, Sheffield, Schneider, Castillo, Pitcher
With Sheffield in left and Church in right, the lineup looks like this:
Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Delgado, Beltran, Sheffield, Church, Schneider, Pitcher
When Sheffield doesn't play, he gives the Mets a power pinch-hitter late in games.
This pickup is a steal for the Mets, both in salary and in talent. Sheffield only adds depth to the team's outfield, and will give them an extra punch in their already-potent lineup.