Though I’m skeptical about what Sheffield brings to the Mets both on and off the diamond I don’t think this is a bad signing (as I’m sure many Mets fans will think it is). Sheffield will most likely replace Marlon Anderson on the roster and slip into a platoon situation with Ryan Church in right field. I’m assuming he chose to sign with the Mets in anticipation of getting more playing time than he could with the Phillies or Reds, the other teams courting him, so I’d figure they’d use him to spell Daniel Murphy in left occasionally (or replace Murphy if he falters).
If he hits even half decently and keeps his attitude in check then this is a great signing. If he doesn’t then the Mets haven’t really lost anything since all they need to pay him is the league minimum $400,000 (the Tigers are responsible for the rest of his salary this season).
As an added incentive Sheffield is more or less playing for his major league life this season. He’s in a contract year and hopes to continue playing next year. If he fails with the Mets then his playing career is most likely over. But if he has a good year he’ll likely get a contract (most likely for 2 or 3 years) on the free agent market in the off season.
This is a relatively low risk signing for the Mets that will either turn into nothing or make them a better team. Why not take the chance?