Why The Mets Land Gary Sheffield to Citifield

Joe NoaCorrespondent IApril 6, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 04:  Newly aquired Gary Sheffield of the New York Mets speaks to the media after the exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox on April 4, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Mets 9-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Mets have officially announced that Gary Sheffield is a New York Met.

The Tigers unexpectedly released Gary Sheffield. The Mets will pay Sheffield the Major League minimum of $400,000. The Tigers will pay the rest of Sheffield's $14 million.

Gary Sheffield is one shy of joining the 500 home run club. He has a career .292 batting average and has 1,633 RBI. This makes the seventh team that Sheffield will be playing for in his 21-year career in the Majors.

This is a brilliant move by Omar Minaya.

Gary Sheffield is the big right handed bat the Mets desperately needed to balance the lineup. His bat adds more pop to a potent lineup that was second in the National League in average runs per game.

At $400,000, this is a bargain for the Mets. It keeps the Mets within their payroll. If the Mets had signed Manny Ramirez, it would have tied up the Mets payroll for at least two years. Sheffield will be a Met for only this season.

Sheffield knows Jerry Manuel from 1997 when Sheffield was a Marlin and Manuel was a coach.

Sheffield played in New York as a Yankee and is the nephew of former Met and Yankee pitcher, Dwight Gooden.

The biggest reason why Omar signed Gary Sheffield is to prevent the Phillies from getting him. No telling what the Phillies would have done with Sheffield but he would have been a potent bat in their lineup also.

Sheffield has always worn out his welcome which is why he has been with seven teams. He has admitted taking steroids and has called Torre a racist for the way he allegedly treats white players and black players differently. This was when Torre was the manager of the Yankees in 2007.

He has had numerous run-ins with management, fans, and the media. He has been known to be moody and uncooperative to the point that he is better off dealt away than to put up with his antics.

He's 40-years-old now and Omar is hoping he is more mature and accepts a lesser role. He will take at-bats away from Ryan Church and Daniel Murphy. He will be able to play both corners of the outfield.

The worse case scenario is Sheffield may not be as productive as in his better years. If that is the case, the Mets can release him, take the salary hit, and bring up Evans or rookie phenom, Fernando Martinez.

The Mets stand to gain much with the signing of Gary Sheffield and this leaves the Phillies with someone else to be concern about.