Last week I talked about Gary Sheffield prowling the Winter Meetings. Today we learn that he met with Joe Maddon to talk more about his comeback that probably isn’t happening:
“I had a meeting with the Rays, and they’re going to get back to me,” Sheffield said Monday on Sirius XM Radio. “It’s out there now that they’re talking to me and hopefully something comes about.”
“They said they had my resume on file,” Sheffield did not add. “I really think I impressed Mr. Maddon. I totally nailed that question about where I saw myself in five years. And I made sure to ask questions.”
Sources close to the Rays report that Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton are not actually part of the hiring committee considering Sheffield’s candidacy, but went along on the lunch interview because “hey, free lunch.”
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.