Yankees looking to bolster lineup

All signs are pointing to Gary Sheffield joining the Yankees by the end of the holiday weekend.

Updated: November 28, 2003, 9:44 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Sam Borden of the New York Daily News suggests that Gary Sheffield could be a New York Yankee by the end of the holiday weekend. Citing sources close to the team, he writes that all signs are pointing to a match that has seemed to be a foregone conclusion since the season ended. Borden reminds us of Sheffield's professed love for the city of New York and team owner George Steinbrenner's admiration for what Sheffield does with a bat. The possessor of one of the quickest swings yet seen on a baseball field, Sheffield would upgrade the Yankees significantly.

Gary Sheffield
APGary Sheffield is one slugger who might be worth big bucks.
How is this possible? As good as the Yankees were in 2003 -- when they won 101 games -- no single Yankee had a campaign anywhere near as good as the one enjoyed by free agent Gary Sheffield. That is why adding him to the mix is a disturbing proposition for opponents. He literally upgrades his position over what the Yankees had last year by 100 percent -- provided he repeats his 2003 numbers. Even with some slippage, he is still light years ahead of what is in place last year: Raul Mondesi, Karim Garcia, Juan Rivera and David Dellucci combo.

Sam Borden relates that some are concerned about Sheffield's fielding, but I'm afraid that is a big "so what?" Even with a fielding liability like Alfonso Soriano playing a key defensive position and other less-than-stellar types like Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi on the field, it must be realized that the overwhelming firepower that lineup (with or without Sheffield) brings to bear is going to hit their way out of most of the mistakes they make in the glove-sporting portion of the game.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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