Report: Sheffield Released?

According to Steve Popper of the Bergen Record, citing an unnamed Mets player, Gary Sheffield has been released from the team.

This would certainly be a blow to the team for the remainder of the season, as Sheffield was one of very few legitimate Major League bats in the Mets lineup.

Originally signed to be a back up to Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church in the corner outfield positions, Sheffield soon found himself in the lineup just about every day.

In 248 at-bats with the team Sheffield hit .286 and slugged 10 home runs. 10 home runs may not sound like a lot, but it actually was the most home runs hit by any full-time Mets player this season.

If nothing else, Sheffield also provided the team with what will most likely be the biggest highlight of the 2009 season, when he crushed his 500th career home run against the Brewers in early April.

Unfortunately, Sheffield’s release comes as no surprise as Sheffield and Mets manager Jerry Manuel have been at odds over playing time for the slugger recently.

Despite this, however for the most part Gary was very professional during his Mets tenure and did not exhibit the attitude problems that were feared prior to his signing with the team.

Update (6:40 PM EST): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Sheffield’s future with the Mets is up in the air, as he met with team officials to discuss a possible contract extension. When the Mets declined, Sheffield reportedly was angry and threatened to leave the team and return home.

Update (7:01 PM EST): Joel Sherman just talked to a Mets higher up, who said that Sheffield has not been released, however that official did confirm that Sheffield requested an extension.