Just let him go ….

Both parties are following their nature, paths leading on an inevitable collision course. Gary Sheffield and the Mets clashed last night, and it won’t be the last time before this train wreck of a season comes to its bitter end.

SHEFFIELD: Time to let him go.

SHEFFIELD: Time to let him go.

The Mets stumble through moments like this with veteran players, holding on to them too long, hoping for glimpses of the past rather than seeing the likely end. They grasped too long with Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou, Julio Franco before finally letting go. They did right with Livan Hernandez, but saving money by not paying out innings incentives was probably the true motivation.

Sheffield, as is his wont, is complaining again about his contract. He asked for an extension last night, was turned down, demanded his release and then wanted to sit out.

For his part, Sheffield has been a model citizen this season until last night. He’s proven he still had flashes of pop, and even at 41 next year, he probably would have gotten a contract. If not with the Mets, then maybe in the American League as a designated hitter.

The Mets, as they should have, exposed him to the waiver wire earlier this month and the San Francisco Giants put in a claim. Rather then get something, the Mets pulled him off the wire. Why? They weren’t going anywhere. Would he sell that many tickets?

With this move, the Mets lost the opportunity to trade Sheffield and if he’s claimed again they get nothing. Not smart.

Concurrently, manager Jerry Manuel, who doesn’t always measure his thoughts before speaking, said he thought Sheffield still had something and wanted him back next year.

Sheffield’s timing was poor – it usually is when it comes to talking about his contract – but he had every reason to assume he was in the Mets’ plans for 2010.

When the Mets turned him down – they didn’t even say let’s talk about it after the season – they were saying he wasn’t in their future. Sheffield now says the Mets are holding him hostage, which is only partly true.

Barring his release through irrevocable waivers, he’ll languish over the next five weeks in the mediocrity that has become the Mets. There will be no postseason for Sheffield. However, he’s still making $14 million this year (Detroit is paying $13.6 million) and if he finishes quiet with him mouth and loud with his bat, he’ll play again.

It is hard to understand if Sheffield weren’t in their plans why the Mets would keep him. With the season lost, wouldn’t this be a good time to give Nick Evans extended playing time in left field to see if there is something? If Evans showed something, it might alleviate one less off-season headache. You never know.

If history is any indicator, Sheffield will purposely become a distraction. The Mets would likely blame the media for stirring the pot, but with a loose cannon like that, he’s going to be asked questions. He’s an easy story now.

He did so while with the Yankees to the point they were pleading for somebody to take him. The suckers were the Tigers who gave him a $28 million contract.

The Mets should realize this season is lost and there’s no benefit to keeping Sheffield. They should pull the trigger now and be done with it.

9 thoughts on “Just let him go ….

  1. First off the reports that have surfaced today by Adam Rubin said that the Giants just put in a waiver block. And quite honestly, if they had offered the Mets a go nowhere prospect, then I wouldn’t have traded him to the Giants either. At this point, we need to see what Sheffield’s reaction is today. If he has come to accept what it is, then there is no need to cut him. If not, then release him. But this is one of the few times that I don’t blame Omar. I have a feeling that the Mets know what Nick Evans is…a borderline major leaguer without a position.

  2. Having just watch the HBO series “Rome” all the way through for the fifth time, I can safely saw the Mets are the anti-Octavian. They simply do not think things through to their obvious conclusions. They put Sheffield on waivers but pulled him when the Giants claimed him. It should have occurred to them that Sheffield would not like this and would want a new contract..something he badgered the Yankees several years ago to the point where they dumped him for minor league dreck. This team just doesn’t think. Sheffield doesn’t either: he might have cost Santana a victory last night by sitting out except for a pinch hit strike out. Any idea if he struck out deliberately like he made errors deliberately as a Milwaukee Brewer?

    Get rid of him now. Get George Theodrore or Butch Huskey to take his place.

  3. We dont even know for sure it was the Giants and we sure dont know what they were offering. If Omar had any negotiating skills whatsoever, he could have gotten a decent player back. Minaya could have at least kept his mouth shut about Shef not being in the plans for next year. Now Garys unhappy and he will be a distraction for the rest of the year (hmmm.. could that be the plan? take focus off the terrible team?) I doubt Omar is smart enough to think like that. Just another debacle to add to the list.

  4. 3/4 Ray
    The Mets had no leverage with Sheff since he is making league minimum. They should have traded him in July.

    Wagner should be more interesting.

    I would just let him go even without getting a decent prospect.
    Since they have no intention of picking up his option the 3.5 million they would save would be better spent next year even if it were just to put a statue of Seaver out in front of the park.

  5. Scott, Wilpon will just use the money to cover his Madoff losses. Wagner is a valuable commodity and if they just give him away I will be pissed. If they cant get a good prospect then offer arbitration and take the 2 picks. He will not want to stay to be a setup man here.

  6. Does Wagner (or any relief pitcher?) have a strong guarantee of making $8 million in 2010 if he signs with another team? Offering him arbitration seems too risky for me. He may just accept it.

  7. Wagner: If he was claimed by the Cubs the Mets might get something half decent. The O’s got a decent prospect for huff. If it was by another team it could be a block, so do the Wilpons want to play small market franchise and dump or go risky and offer arbitration next year. If they offer arb, they could get stuck with him. Some teams won’t give up the draft picks for a guy who is only going to get offered one or at most two years.

    Sheffield has shown himself to be the jerk he has proven to be everywhere else. Delcos I can’t beleive you still buy that good guy baloney. He can’t be a good guy. He only is in it for Sheffield. I’d rather have a mediocre Evans in the field than a me me me me Sheffield.

  8. 1. the mets put him on waivers.
    2. a team claims him but offers nothing interesting.
    3. the team sucks but wants to offer the illusion that they are playing for something.

    if the mets bite and trade him just because. sheffield does something and some will complain that we got shafted.

    the coach and the owners want to win games and a motivated sheffield will do that.

    however as you point out he is a cancer and the season is done anyway. let the younger guys play and grow. we are done with him anyway.

    i think they should release him now just because he wont be a good citizen anymore.

    as they say you make you bed..