Gary Sheffield open to playing next season
Gary Sheffield has found a new side career counseling players on financial planning and contract negotiation, helping others do what he learned to do. But he also hasn’t ruled out a return to the playing field.
On Tuesday, he was in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort at baseball’s Winter Meetings. He was there trying to gauge teams’ interest on players with whom he works, such as reliever Jason Grilli, but he also wasn’t calling himself retired. He wasn’t saying he was going to play in 2011, either, but he was open to it.
“[Teams] know who I am,” Sheffield said. “The thing is that hitting has never been my problem. I can still do that. I can still go out and hit 20-30 home runs.”
Sheffield, who turned 42 years old last month, last played with the Mets in 2009 after the Tigers released him in Spring Training. He had offers to play last season, but said he was holding out for a chance to play with his hometown Tampa Bay Rays, which never happened.
He’s working out five days a week, he said, and feels he could play again if the right opportunity popped up. He has not talked with any teams as of Tuesday afternoon.
“If it doesn’t happen this year, I’m going to go ahead and call it quits,” he said.
— Jason Beck