As I posted earlier, the Mets could be on the verge of signing Gary Sheffield as soon as tonight.
In addition to the sources I already mentioned this morning, Joel Sherman of the NY Post adds a little more clarity to the situation and writes,
The Mets are closing in on signing Gary Sheffield, likely today, with an eye on giving him significant playing time, according to two people involved in the talks. “Unless something drastic happens, he is a Met,” one of the sources said.
The Mets dispatched two scouts to watch Sheffield in Tampa on Thursday, which was first reported by SI.com. Having seen that workout, the Mets intensified their efforts to beat out the Phillies and Reds to sign Sheffield, and they delivered a message to the veteran slugger that has apparently won his affections: “They told him if he plays well, he will play a lot,” a Sheffield confidant said.
The ramifications of signing Gary Sheffield are somewhat wide-ranging for the Mets.
1. The move would eliminate any chance of Nick Evans winning a permanent reserve role with the Mets, and unless the Mets get hit with some unforeseen injury, we may not see Nick Evans again until September call-ups. Evans had one of the best showings this spring.
2. This would serious reduce the role of Fernando Tatis to a pinch hitter and occasional backup for Delgado, Wright and Murphy. He also finished the spring with a strong offensive showing.
3. Ryan Church may have grimaced when Manuel hinted that he’d platoon with Tatis last month. Imagine what might be going through his head knowing that at the very least, all he can hope for is a platoon role with Sheffield who could eventually rob even more playing time from him if he excels. A touchy situation to say the least.
4. Finally, and I know this won’t sadden too many Mets fans, but it would mean the end of the Marlon Anderson era with the Mets. It may not happen immediately, but once Livan Hernandez is activated for his first start, Anderson is as good as gone.
The question is… Will Gary Sheffield be worth it?
Will his presence make all of the above issues a mute point?
I have my doubts, but his past performance intrigues me. What about you? Do you want Gary Sheffield?