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.”
The Boston Red Sox activated Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they made to make room for him on the roster was a big one too: they designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.
Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup. At the moment the Red Sox have the second best offense in all of baseball despite Ramirez’s performance.
Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however and, long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.