Earlier today, Omar Minaya addressed the media and announced he and his team reached an agreement with free-agent OF Gary Sheffield.
Minaya said Sheffield still must take a physical, and is expected to be with the team tomorrow.
Later, Carlos Beltran told reporters, “I think it helps, because he knows what to expect, he’s going to come here and do his thing and he knows how things work here in New York.”
Speaking with WFAN’s Mike Francesa, Minaya said Gary Sheffield has not been guaranteed any playing time, and he will need to ‘work his way in to being more than a part-time player.’
Minaya repeatedly used the word ‘work,’ when referencing Sheffield’s role, saying the player needs to work to return to being as productive as he once was, saying he’ll need to work to get in the lineup, and adding Jerry Manuel will need to work him in to a role.
“Jerry was very clear, to Gary, what role he is coming in to do,” Minaya explained, while speaking to reporters.
Manuel later added, “I think the first thing we’ll do, as a staff, is make sure and get him in shape to play an outfield position, so for the first few days I think we’ll spend a lot of time on extra work, preparing him to, like I said, work him back to playing an outfield position.”
Minaya labeled the signing ‘low risk, high reward,’ when speaking with Francesa, because he is only obligated to pay Sheffield $400,000.
Minaya also explained to WFAN that he checked with players and coaches on his team who have played with Sheffield, who said, ‘across the board,’ ‘this guy is a very good teammate.
Manuel later said he talked with Jimmy Leyland, who also managed Sheffield in Florida, where Manuel was a coach, and Leyland was positive in his review and was in step with what Minaya encountered when speaking with other ‘front-office guys around the league,’ he explained.