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Short Order Sheff
2006-10-31 09:00
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees have until midnight on Sunday to make a decision on Gary Sheffield's $13 million option for 2007. As Alex previously reported, Brian Cashman's plan has been to pick up Sheffield's option, but only after finding a team willing to trade for Sheffield and assume his entire salary. Sheffield caught wind of this plan last week and was predictably upset (if there's one thing Gary won't stand for it's the lack of a long-term contract).

Sheffield's public outburst, in which he said "there's going to be a problem" if the Yankees pick up his option and then trade him, appeared to endanger Cashman's plans. But, as the final paragraph of this extended version of the AP story above indicates, the possibility of obtaining Gary Sheffield at one year/$13 million in lieu of shelling out a Beltran-like nine figures over seven years for an over-30 Alfonso Soriano has generated a great deal of interest around the league. According to today's Newsday, a trade is still the most likely scenario to result from Sunday's deadline. That Newsday story cited an unnamed AL official as saying that Cashman is looking for "a package of prospects, bullpen help or a starting pitcher" in return for the surly 38-year-old right fielder who is coming off a soft tissue injury to the left wrist which generates a great deal of the power in his swing.

Here's hoping it works out. The Yankees already have outfielders Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera, and the major league-ready Kevin Thompson and Kevin Reese under contract for 2007. What's more, they will likely need that $13 million to help improve their starting pitching. They have no need for Sheffield, who in addition to his age, injury and attitude, proved to be an awful defensive first baseman (though his transition did occur under far from optimal conditions). Despite all of that, Sheffield remains a valuable asset. Cashman's plan, if successful, will turn Sheffield's redundant value into more beneficial assets for the ballclub, yet another sign that the Yankees' decision making is headed in the right direction.

As for the other two option decisions the Yankees have to make, they'll have until a week from Sunday (Nov. 12) to decide whether or not it's worth an extra $3 million to keep Jaret Wright around (his buyout is a whopping $4 million). The deadline on Mike Mussina's $17 million option is the following Wednesday (Nov. 15). I assume the Yanks will opt to buyout Mussina for $1.5 million. The only suspense there is whether or not they'll work out a new, less expensive two-year deal with Moose by that deadline, or if they'll wait and bid on him along with the other 29 teams as the offseason progresses. My guess is the former, given their failure to retain Jon Leiber under similar circumstances two years ago. That is, of course, if Moose is amenable to their offer.

Comments
2006-10-31 10:31:43
1.   Sliced Bread
Nice headline, Cliff.

Gonna miss Sheff's bat when he's gone, but it's exciting thinking about what the Yanks might get for him.

2006-10-31 11:13:29
2.   jakewoods
At first I thought they'd be lucky to get a decent prospect for him. Now I'm thinking with all these teams in major need of a bat and the fact that hes a proven player and cheap, that they can get a Brad Lidge type player for him.
2006-10-31 11:23:31
3.   jkay
Sheff to Philly for Gavin Floyd.

http://tinyurl.com/y86xwy

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

By PETE CALDERA
STAFF WRITER

With nearly $5 million of that salary deferred, Sheffield is an
attractive commodity, despite recent comments that he'd cause trouble
for any team that didn't first approach him about a contract extension.

The Phillies, Astros, Cubs, Angels and Nationals are said to be among
the teams most interested in Sheffield.

According to a source, Philadelphia could make right-hander Gavin Floyd
available in a Sheffield deal. Floyd, who turns 24 in January, has
tremendous potential, but had a disappointing 4-3 season, with a 7.29
ERA in 11 starts last year.

2006-10-31 11:38:51
4.   Sliced Bread
Any chance the Yanks will pick up Wright's option and ship him with Sheff? That would substantially sweeten a Sheff deal.
2006-10-31 11:40:29
5.   jakewoods
Hearing Ryan Madson for Sheff. Buster Olney said it.
2006-10-31 11:52:06
6.   Shaun P
5 How about Madson and Floyd? And throw in Wright for good measure.
2006-10-31 11:56:10
7.   dianagramr
A-Rod for Ryan Howard while we're at it ....
2006-10-31 12:43:17
8.   Adam B
It'd be better if we could get a catching prospect for Sheff, so that someone can take over in the post-Jorge era.
2006-10-31 13:34:20
9.   YankeeInMichigan
8 Okay, so let's return Sheff and Wright to sender for Saltalamacchia and a pitcher (I'm not sure whom). Salty was the Braves' #1 prospect a year ago, but his disappointing year in AA (has anyone seen any explanations?) coupled with Brian McCann's outstanding season make him expendable.
2006-10-31 14:19:06
10.   Cliff Corcoran
9 One bad year from a 21-year-old catching prospect does not a bust make. Yes, Salty's expendable, but he's not going to be discounted. And the Yanks would also have to pick up Wright's option to make that deal, which would have them sending $20 million in salary to the Braves in the form of an old, cranky, possibly still hampered by injury slugger and an undesirable pitcher for one of the top catching prospects in the game, plus another pitcher? It's just not realistic.

Plus, Sheff tends to burn his bridges behind him.

2006-11-01 07:02:35
11.   jakewoods
There is a reason Salty is available. Its because he had a rough yr and they dont think hes a full time catcher.

I dont see the yanks trading Sheff for anything besides pitching.

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