Daugherty: Baker meeting with Sheffield tomorrow

Ah Twitter, where rumors can be thrown out into the ether with few details or context.  For instance, Paul Daugherty just dropped this nugget on us:

dusty baker just told me he's meeting tomorrow w/gary sheffield

Sixty-three characters that could stir up what has been a rather quiet spring for the Reds.  I have to wonder though, why not give us some more in the remaining 77 characters, Doc?  Like, where are they meeting?  Or does Dusty think he's a fit?  Or what the hell?

UPDATE: Fay has confirmed the Reds interest with Walt Jocketty.

“Perhaps, it’s something we’ve talked about,” Jocketty said. “We’re going to at least explore the possibility. He’s still a threat in the lineup … if the price is right.”

- snip -

When asked if the Reds are interested in Jenkins, Jocketty said, “I don’t know yet. I just saw that he was released. It’s something we’ll look into, but we’re really looking for a right-handed bat.”

As you probably know, the Detroit Tigers released Gary Sheffield earlier this week, eating the remaining $14 million left on his contract.  There's been a lot of chatter at various team sites about whether the 40-year old Sheffield could be a fit on their team.  Heck, it's even happened here a bit.  So the question is, do we want Sheffield?

Let's look at his projections for 2009 and compare them to Chris Dickerson and Jonny Gomes, the presumptive platoon in LF.  I'm going to look at PECOTA only because it shows splits.  Below you'll see projections for all three:

PECOTA BATTING

vs All vs RHP vs LHP
Sheffield .245/.341/.415 .240/.331/.398 .259/.360/.440
Dickerson .248/.334/.429 .257/.351/.479 .220/.304/.375
Gomes .236/.334/.473 .231/.324/.454 .252/.353/.496
Jenkins .268/.336/.456 .277/.352/.502 .243/.308/.411

According to PECOTA, Sheffield is really no longer as good of a hitter as either Dickerson or Gomes, and while he'd be a nice platoon with Dickerson, he's definitely not an upgrade of Gomes, who is already in house.

Defensively, he's a dead average performer in the corner spots according to CHONE, which is an upgrade over Gomes, who projects to -14 runs defensively over 150 games in LF.  Dickerson projects to +3 runs and Jenkins -3 in LF.  Of course, these projections can be a little deceptive for Sheffield since he's played a grand total of 18 games in the outfield over the last 2 seasons.  I'd guess that projecting him as an average fielder in the outfield is generous, and is likely a guess by the CHONE projections.  Having spent the last couple of years watching an over-the-hill player in the outfield, I'm not sure we want to go through that again.

I think the best we could hope for from Sheffield is that he somehow regains his performance level from 2007 when he put up an OPS+ of 120 for the Tigers.  But that's asking a lot of a 40-year old, and I really can't see any reason why the Reds would go after someone like him to essentially replace Gomes who has already shown that he's got some skills left in his game.  Heck, Gomes even has the firey reputation to kick some butt in the clubhouse, so it's not like Sheffield would be needed for that.

Can anybody think of a good argument for bringing Sheffield on to the Reds?

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