Could Sheffield Fit in Philly?
Sheffield is a right-handed, power-hitting corner outfielder.
The Phillies are looking for a right-handed, power-hitting corner outfielder.
Is there a match here?
There could be, but there are some things to consider. First, the Tigers released Sheffield because they said they wanted more versatility on their 25-man roster … and they actually could have used him as a DH. Can Sheffield still play in the outfield? He obviously would have no choice with the Phillies. Second, Sheffield told the Detroit Free Press that his first preference is the Tampa Bay Rays, although I’m not sure how that would work because the Rays have Pat Burrell and Gape Kapler. But if Sheffield prefers to play in the American League, where he can DH, the Phillies obviously aren’t a match. But if Sheffield, who has 499 home runs, can’t find a match in the American League the Phillies would make some sense.
That is, if he isn’t looking for regular playing time.
Got it so far?
But even if the Phillies think Sheffield can play in the outfield and if Sheffield is OK playing in the National League in a non-everyday role, the Phillies still would have to release or trade Geoff Jenkins or Matt Stairs to make room for him. The Phillies have been trying to trade Jenkins this spring, and I believe that continues to be their preference: move or release Jenkins and keep Stairs.
FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reported today that the Phillies are unwilling to eat Jenkins’ $8 million salary, which includes a $1.25 buyout on a 2010 club option. But if that is the case, maybe Sheffield could change their thinking.
Why? Because the Phillies only would have to pay Sheffield $400,000. In essence, they would be paying Sheffield $8.4 million to get a right-handed bat for their bench compared to paying Jenkins $8 million.
Other things to consider:
Sheffield was hitting .178 (8 for 45) with three homers and five RBIs this spring. He walked 13 times for a .387 on-base percentage, but had a .378 slugging percentage. He also hit .225 with 19 homers and 57 RBIs in 418 at-bats last season, when he played just six games in the outfield.