Phils remain in running for Sheffield
Released by Tigers, veteran slugger seeking playing time
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies boarded a flight to Philadelphia on Thursday evening thinking they still had a shot to land Gary Sheffield.
They just weren't sure how much of a shot.
Sheffield is looking for playing time, something the Phillies can't provide because they expect left fielder Raul Ibanez, center fielder Shane Victorino and right fielder Jayson Werth to play on a regular basis. But Sheffield's agent, Rufus Williams, said Thursday night that the Phillies remain in the running.
"We haven't ruled them out," Williams said.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. also said he has not been informed that Sheffield, who cleared waivers at 1 p.m. ET, has ruled Philadelphia out.
The Tigers released Sheffield on Tuesday morning. The Phils are interested in him as a right-handed bat for their bench. Sheffield will make $14 million this season, but if Sheffield signs with the Phillies, they only would have to pay him the league minimum $400,000.
There are at least three teams interested in Sheffield, one of them being the Reds. But Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Sheffield wants playing time.
Williams said Sheffield won't rush to sign with another team. They will consider all options first.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.