Gary Sheffield has been a hot topic thus far in the offseason. Here is a recent rumor regarding the Yankees slugger from MLB.com writer Jim Street:
In addition to the Tigers, the Astros, Indians, Rangers, Padres and Orioles all have inquired about the slugger, who played in only 39 games last season because of a wrist injury. The Cubs may have interest, too, according to a source.
Among those who could intrigue the Yankees are Detroit pitcher Wil Ledezma, San Diego reliever Scott Linebrink and Texas catcher Gerald Laird.
Again, just a rumor.
If this were to have some validity, I do not think that picking up Gary Sheffield would be a terrible idea. Yes, he's 38 years old and was injured last year. However, he has been pretty healthy over the course of his career, especially over the last several seasons leading up to this last one:
Year Games OPS
2000 141 1.081
2001 143 1.000
2002 135 .916
2003 155 1.023
2004 154 .927
2005 154 .891
With only playing 39 games in 2006 after suffering an injury, Sheff's numbers were obviously unimpressive last season. However looking at his numbers over the 6 or 7 years shows us he can stay healthy...the only problem is that thing called age. He's 38 years old and only getting older.
Is Wil Ledezma, a very serviceable young lefty, a valid trade piece? I think there are some mixed emotions on that. Some would probably say that Wil is a guy who will never be anything more than middle relief. Some will say that Wil has potential to continually get better and perhaps be a pretty good piece of a starting rotation in the future. My reasoning behind thinking that if the price is right I would trade Wil in no time is due to the fact that there are some pretty good arms in the Tigers organization just waiting to get their shots at the big leagues.
It will be interesting to see how things turn out, but for now it's pure rumor and speculation.