"Gary Sheffield's future with the Mets is up in the air.
The veteran slugger was a late scratch from tonight's lineup, and a high-ranking club source confirmed that Sheffield was threatening to leave the team after the Mets
rejected his request for a contract extension."
The biggest problem that I have with the idea of giving Sheffield a extension is not that he can't hit anymore...because obviously he can. His numbers this season (.285, 10 HR, 43 RBI) clearly show that he still has juice (pun intended) left in the tank at the dish.
However, Sheffield is not a fit for the Mets moving forward, and I'm not just talking about his age (he's 40). The bottom line is that Sheffield can no longer chase after a baseball effectively or play left field for that matter, which would be a huge problem for the Mets because they play in the spacious Citi Field, where it's vital to have athletic outfielders, who can cover ground. At this stage in his career, Sheffield is not athletic enough to cover ground in the outfield.
In short, he's a liability. If Sheffield ever thought that the Mets would seriously consider giving him a extension, then he's truly out of his mind. Why would he be in the Mets' future plans? The Mets need to get younger, quicker, and more athletic; all of which he cannot bring to the table at this stage in his career.
So if Sheffield is going to bitch and moan about not getting an extension, the Mets should just release him. At this point, what good is it having Sheffield on the roster anyway? Sure he's the only "power threat" in the lineup, but the Mets are going nowhere this season and need to see what they got in guys like Corey Sullivan, Jeremy Reed, Angel Pagan, and Jeff Francoeur. Giving more playing time to an aging and annoying player like Sheffield does nothing for the Mets future, which is what management needs to be focused on.