Sheffield Released

LAKELAND, Fla. — Gary Sheffield’s milestone 500th career home run will have to come with a different team. The Tigers released the longtime slugger on Tuesday, a surprising roster move and a potential end to what may ultimately be a Hall of Fame career.

Sheffield said he was told by manager Jim Leyland and president/general manager Dave Dombrowski that the team wanted to go with a more versatile lineup. The Tigers did not envision Sheffield playing any position other than designated hitter.

The Tigers will owe Sheffield his guaranteed $14 million salary for this year. If he clears waivers, he’ll be free to sign with any team he chooses.

Sheffield, who has 499 career home runs, said he was surprised by the move and that he didn’t consider it a possibility.

“I never really thought about it, to be honest with you,” he said.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2 Comments

The Yankees will sign Sheffield but only play him in home games. Once he hits his 500th homerun he will shortly thereafter be traded to the athletics for next to nothing where he will 1b/dh/rf platoon with Cust and Giambi.

Think about, so many 500th home runs were hit out of the orginal Yankee stadium, what would be a more perfect way to christian the new stadium by starting with another 500th homerun right away. Moreover, Sheffield is the perfect moneyball player no defensive home, works the count better then almost anyone in baseball, and billy beane will be able to acquire him for a few prospects with character issues that weren’t going to amount to anything anyway (don’t be suprised if somehow he gets swisher back in the same deal also).

tartanfan, somehow, I don’t see that happening! Sheff wore out his welcome here in NY, and the end was ugly. No way. Also, I think the Yankees have enough OF/DH types. Hope you’re kidding:-)

-Zach

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