August 06, 2006
The Yankee Flipper
The Post is reporting that the Yankees are thinking about picking up Gary Sheffield's 2007 option - and then trading him. Here's a clip from the story:
But one AL executive cautioned, "My guess is that is a dangerous game to play, especially since they have Abreu's salary on books. If Sheffield goes off in the last two weeks of September or the postseason, then I might do it. But if they get stuck with that salary or paying a big chunk to trade him, that would be a bad move, and you are talking about a player who is in his late 30s, who is coming off a major injury and has had his power production decline in recent years." However, another AL executive said, "I believe someone would take him for a year, but the deal would have to be worked out ahead of time" and cited the Angels, White Sox and Giants as possible landing places.
The only way the Giants take him is if Bonds is off the team. The market for Sheffield would be an A.L. team - the Angels, Tigers, or White Sox. Possibly, an N.L. team like the Cardinals or Cubs would want him in 2007.
It's a pretty slim market for Sheff - in terms of trading him.
To me, when you look at the risk-reward ratio on such a move, this seems silly. I would not pick up his option with the hope to trade him.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 6, 2006 09:51 AM
The obvious team for Sheff -- and one never mentioned -- is the Astros. They need a big bat and Sheffield would hit about five hundred home runs in that ballpark. It's almost built for him. Being back in the NL and hitting in that ballpark, I could see Sheffield hitting 45 home runs.
For Brad Lidge? Setting up Mo? Maybe. It's an idea. As for Pettitte, he's a FA after September. If he wanted to come back and we wanted him back, it could get done for far cheaper than Zito. Hard to say how much Pettitte really has left. Hard to say whether Zito's really worth $13 million per for 4 or 5 years. FWIW, I don't think the Yankees would be "stuck" with Sheff if they picked up his option. There's enough of a market for his power potential. It depends on how much of his deal the Yankees would be willing to swallow in order to move him (plus whatever player(s)they could receive in return).
I don't think that this is a bad idea at all. At worst, they would have Sheff and Sheff would be the dominant part of the top DH/1B combo in the league. Also, if Sheff is back and producing, he would give the Yanks an extremely valuable trading chit at the deadline next year.
Speaking of Pettitte, I agree with JohnnyC that he may not have much left. The Yankees probably made the right decision in letting him go. He has received a huge amount of money from Houston and has only produced one good year.
Sounds like a bad idea to me.
If they do deal Sheff you have to send him to the NL, I don't even wanna think about him coming back to haunt us in a Sept WC race or something like that.
Posted by: Mike A. at August 6, 2006 01:21 PM
I don't see what the Yankees could get for Sheffield in the trade market. If younger players like Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano, albeit of lesser quality than Sheff, could barely get moved in their walk year, why would the Yankees think they could get more talent than the Brewers and Nats? And if trading Sheffield means paying teams to take him, then the move makes even less sense.
I don't see the purpose in picking up Sheffield's option. We'll take whatever he can give us this year (if he even comes back at all) and then we should walk away. The thought of paying him $13M to be a 1B/DH next year while we have Giambi filling the same role, as well as Craig Wilson (who's cheaper), it brings us back to the 2003-2005 versions of the Yanks who were expensive and inflexible. That $13M is better spent on a starter and/or other stuff like a bench or another arm in the bullpen.
I wouldn't pick up Sheffield's option if the intention is to trade him. You'd be trying to move a player with a $13 million contract who in the past has made noise warning other teams he wouldn't be a happy camper if he was traded for.
And that's if he's healthy.
The fact that the Yanks didn't pick the option before the season tells me that they were considering walking away even if Sheff had a decent year. Now that he's coming off an injury, there's no way they should pay $13 mil for him. I think the best contract he'll be able to get is a Nomar type deal - $8 mil or so with a ton of incentives.
Like MJ said, if Washington couldn't move Soriano and his relatively cheap contract, how would the Yankees move Sheff and his $13 mil contract? Doesn't add up.