From the Bergen Record:
The Yankees’ search for a younger, quicker outfield led them to a tentative deal with the Mets that would’ve sent Gary Sheffield to Shea in exchange for Mike Cameron and Miguel Cairo, according to a major league executive who’d been briefed on the talks.
It was the Yankees who initiated discussion during this past weekend’s Subway Series, according to the source. Saturday’s 10-3 loss to the Mets convinced GM Brian Cashman that Bernie Williams’ rapid decline and the absence of a bona fide replacement would cost the Yankees any chance of getting to the postseason.
The Mets are believed to be seriously interested in Sheffield, and are now waiting for the Yankees to make a formal offer.
But, the other day, the NYT has Sheffield saying:
“I’m not going anywhere,” said Sheffield, who is signed through 2006. “If I have to go somewhere, I won’t go. If they said, ‘Wouldn’t you want to get paid?’ I’d say, ‘I’ve got plenty of money.’ I’m not playing nowhere else. I can promise you that.”
I think that I know what the Yankees are thinking here. One, they need a CF and the market is tight there. Two, they’re probably thinking that Sheffield will be a major headache next season – looking for an extension, etc. – and want to head that off at the pass. And, do you want to have to give Sheff a contract for a season when he’s going to be 38?
But, what I do know is that Sheffield is the one batter who strikes fear into the hearts of teams playing the Yankees. You take him out of the line-up, and you have a huge whole that cannot be filled – esp. with Cameron’s bat. I mean, for cryin’ out loud, Sheffield is your number three hitter!
You do not trade your number three hitter. So, hopefully, this is just smoke to get the A’s and/or M’s to lower the prices for their CFers on the market. That would be the smart thing to do, right?
Or, is it a mistake to assume that Cerberus can make the right choice sometimes?