Is Gary Sheffield the Answer for the New York Yankees?

A.J. MartelliSenior Analyst IAugust 14, 2008

It's Wednesday afternoon. In Minnesota, the Yankees are trying desperately to take a series that they need against the Twins. As the tying run at the plate, Ivan Rodriguez makes the last out, and the Yankees lose, 4-2.

The Bronx Bombers are visibly frustrated. Later on that night, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Texas Rangers, taking the series against Texas. The Yankees lost two of four to Texas on their abysmal road trip, where they went 3-7 over 10 games. 

As a result of their loss and Boston's win, they fall six games behind the Red Sox in the wild-card standings.

On their road trip, the Yanks scored a lousy average of 4.2 runs per game. The Yankees will now head home to play the Kansas City Royals, and the Royals hold a winning record of 4-3 against the Yankees this season.

It seems the Yankees have tried everything to make themselves better. Xavier Nady and Richie Sexson for offense, Ivan Rodriguez for defense, and Damaso Marte for the bullpen. However, they continue to fail.

In Detroit, former Yankee Gary Sheffield once again sounded off on his team, saying that he does not want to be a designated hitter and that he should be playing the outfield. As a result of his comments, the Detroit Tigers have placed him on waivers.

Would it be a good idea for the Yankees to claim Sheffield off waivers?

Sheffield has said that he would still like to end his career in New York, and Justin Christian has not exactly been an offensive threat. The idea of the Yankees optioning Christian to AAA and putting Sheffield in his spot may not be a bad idea, considering the Yankees' current hot-cold streak.

Sheffield is not having the greatest season of his career, batting a measly .223 with 12 homers. It may be a low home-run total, but it's 12 more homers than Christian has. Sheffield provides more of an offensive threat than Christian, and while the youth on the team is not showing much right now, Sheffield is a seasoned veteran.

The only downside about Sheffield is his big mouth. He has been known to say things about the teams he has been on. For example, when Sheffield left the Yankees he stated that he was "called out in some (team) meetings" and it had something to do with his race. However, he later went on to say that Joe Torre was not racist, if that makes any sense.

The last time Sheffield was on the Yankees in 2006, the team was nicknamed "Murderer's Row and Cano." The team did not show it, as they were forced to an early exit in the playoffs.

If the Yankees were to claim Sheffield and he produced, all might be forgotten about his comments on his first stint. The Yankees need to do everything possible to find a way back into contention, as the 2008 season enters the twilight.

The Yankees still have six games left to play this season against the Tampa Bay Rays, who lead the Yankees by nine games in the American League Eastern Division, and six games left against the Boston Red Sox, who coincidently lead the Yankees by six games in the wild-card standings.

If Sheffield rejoins the team, the Yankees might have a shot to find their way back to the playoff tournament in October.