A name like Gary Sheffield is guaranteed to create buzz, both for and against the idea of bringing him in. Though the lines of communication are open between the Phillies and the 40-year-old slugger, multiple team sources told the Inquirer that chances of signing Sheffield are, in the words of one official, "very slim."
Ruben Amaro Jr. would only say that the parties had spoken today, and declined to comment whether Sheffield would accept a part-time role.
I posed that last question to Sheffield's agent Rufus Williams a few minutes ago. He said: "As we look for our options over the next few days, we'll decide what the best role will be. (A part-time role) is not off the table; nothing is off the table."
A few reasons points against Sheffield being a fit with the Phillies:
1. He is not a pinch hitter.
2. He batted .225 last season, albeit with 19 home runs.
3. He is not really an outfielder anymore after playing only six games in the field last season.
4. We have to be careful with character stuff, because sometimes reputations are unfairly assigned. But Sheffield's reputation as a clubhouse influence is not sterling among some in baseball. The Phillies front office values team chemistry very highly, and signed Raul Ibanez partly as a result of this strategy.