Ken Rosenthal has a new notes column up, which includes this item:
Gary Sheffield to the Rangers makes baseball sense — the Rangers are too left-handed and the Tigers too right-handed. Problem is, the Rangers are short on money, making it particularly unwise for them to invest in a 40-year designated hitter who will earn $14 million next season. If the Tigers are motivated to move Sheffield — as it appears they are — they will need to include a significant amount of money ...
Sheffield's EQAs the past three seasons have been .280, .296, and (last year) .259. Suffice it to say that a .259 EQA is lousy production from a DH, particularly one making $14 million.
I guess there's the hope that you could get a dead cat bounce from Sheffield...but Bill James' projections have Sheffield at a 785 OPS next year, and I have a hard time seeing that that's going to get you anywhere.
I have to guess that the Sheffield interest involves some moving parts...for example, if Blalock gets moved elsewhere, you could turn around and offer Detroit some random grade C prospect for Sheffield, with them picking up a chunk of his salary. Sheffield probably then slots into the cleanup spot, where Ron Washington would clearly prefer to have both a righty bat (since Josh Hamilton will be hitting 3rd) and someone with more skins on the wall than Nelson Cruz.
You'd probably be looking at something like this:
1. Ian Kinsler -- 2B
2. Michael Young -- SS
3. Josh Hamilton -- CF
4. Gary Sheffield -- DH
5. David Murphy -- LF
6. Nelson Cruz -- RF
7. Chris Davis -- 1B
8. Salty/Teagarden -- C
9. Travis Metcalf -- 3B
And yes, you could conceivably flip-flop Davis and Murphy, but I'm guessing Davis will be hitting farther down the lineup until he "proves" he can hit well enough to hit higher up.
Still...bleah. I'm underwhelmed by that lineup.