Bye-bye Gary

The Tigers cut Sheff:

The Tigers released designated hitter Gary Sheffield this morning, a startling development since the team had already guaranteed him $14 million this season. It’s the second-highest amount owed to a released player in club history, behind Damion Easley’s $14.3 million in 2003.

“You’re going to pay him, one way or the other,” said club president/general manager Dave Dombrowski.

The decision is surprising from a historical perspective, because Sheffield’s next home run will be the 500th of his career.

In the article, Sheffield says he’d like to play for the Rays. Sheff is 8-45 this spring. The Rays just signed Pat Burrell to be their DH. While it’s not impossible to see him catching on somewhere, it’s not going to be in Tampa Bay, 500th home run or no, league minimum or no.

(thanks to Mike McClary for the heads up)

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  1. Timmy said...

    It really seems like it would have been more beneficial to the team to eat a large portion of that contract and trade Sheffield. But maybe they explored that route, and couldn’t get a damn thing for him. I think Gary still has a bit more left in that bat.

  2. Doug said...

    As a Reds fan, I wouldn’t mind brining him in at the league minimum for look, although Dusty would probably bat him 4th and bench Jay Bruce, because, well, he is Dusty…

  3. Mike said...

    I think the Giants get in on this, as a consolation for not getting Manny (who they really didn’t pursue that hard).  The Giants are already poised to celebrate one milestone this year—Unit’s 300th win.  Plus, they have some experience with handling home run milestones of surly sluggers.

  4. kranky kritter said...

    Well, I think you have to presume that if a team releases a guy they owe 14 mil, they are pretty sure he’s got nothing worthwhile left in the tank. Probably his eyes or bat speed are really just not MLB caliber anymore.

    Or maybe the Tigers felt he was in his last year and mostly blocking the development of someone important to the Tigers future. Anyone know/ BTW, I have heard more than one person say that the Tigers are going to be big sellers this summer. Makes sense to me.

    Still, I have to wonder whether has anything worthwhile left, if only because as a Red Sox fan Sheffield was the Yankee batter I feared the most. Just hellacious and formidable for a few years, especially in big moments.

    Would not mind him playing a little OF and 1b instead of Mark Kotsay or Chris Carter. Sheff has a good swing for Fenway.

  5. BillyBeaneismyHero said...

    I’m not sure which is more surprising.  Gary Sheffild getting released, or someone being dumb enough to pay Damion Easily $14.3 at any point in his career.

  6. APBA Guy said...

    Amen to the Easley comment fom BillyBeane.

    The Tigers must have been projecting Sheffield’s bat at negative VORP speed.

  7. tadthebad said...

    Kranky…please don’t even think that.  Sheffield, off the bench, on defense?  Scary.  Plus, well, I think he’s done with the bat, too.

  8. kranky kritter said...

    Well, if in fact he’s all done at the bat, then that’s all there is to it.

    His defense I am not worried about given that our back-up outfielder/1b for April is already guaranteed to be a butcher, Bailey or carter unless we pick up someone who can actually play in the field off late releases.

    BTW, did Dave Roberts end up anywhere after SF dumped him?

  9. Richard in Dallas said...

    Detroit must have a sure sellout every game in their minds to GIVE AWAY 14 MILLION and get absolutely NOTHING in return.  The Rangers, at a time when 25K was a really good crowd, sold out after Palmiero’s 499th and Sosa’s 599th.  When there is history to be seen, people WILL come, Ray; they most certainly will come…….

  10. Beanster said...

    It’s been a great week for Dave Dombrowski signings.  Now, what did he say Dontrelle Willis is on the DL for again…?

  11. J. McCann said...

    I’m thinking the best option for Gary is Japan.

    He can go make some huge bank for a couple of years, and he is all about the Benjamins, and then come back and hit one more HR in MLB in a couple of years.

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