Sheffield rips Dodgers, teammates in national article
Updated: Thursday February 22, 2001 8:31 AM
Sheffield's agent indicated Wednesday his client would prefer to receive a contract extension and remain with the Dodgers, but remarks reportedly made by the All-Star outfielder likely make that an impossibility.
"If it is the truth, it would make it very difficult for him to come back," first-year Dodgers manager Jim Tracy acknowledged about comments attributed to Sheffield in this week's edition of USA Today Baseball Weekly.
"Until I hear it from him, I don't give it much credence," Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone said. "What is disheartening is the probability that Gary will not be with the Dodgers for 2001 because of the type of player that he is.
"We're keeping all our options open. The timing of this makes it more and more difficult for the Dodgers, but we're not going to let a superficial time line of Monday or Tuesday make us make any bad moves. We'll take it day by day. The time frame dictates that we get value for value. There's no set time limit, though the sooner the better."
According to the Baseball Weekly story, Sheffield met with Dodgers chairman Bob Daly and team president Bob Graziano for 1 1/2 hours at his Los Angeles area home Feb. 12.
"His request earlier this month was to be a career Dodger. He asked for a contract extension," Sheffield's agent, Jim Neader, said from St. Petersburg, Fla. "The result, indeed, was he may be traded, although there's always hope the contract extension will come.
"Right now, the Dodgers are attempting to trade Gary. The Dodgers will make the decision they're going to make, whether it be trade or extension. He will report on or before Feb. 27 to the Dodgers if there is no deal."
Neader referred to the mandatory reporting day of next Tuesday. Sheffield is the only member of the 40-man roster not in camp at Vero Beach, Fla.
Daly reportedly told Sheffield at their meeting that the Dodgers lost $25 million last season and couldn't afford a contract extension. A six-time All-Star who hit .325 with 43 homers and 109 RBIs last season, Sheffield is due $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and $11 million in 2003. There's a team option for 2004 at $11 million.
The 32-year-old Sheffield reacted angrily to Daly's feeling that there was a risk involved.
"A risk? Come on, they're paying Brownie (Kevin Brown) $15 million a year until he's 41," Sheffield was quoted as saying. "They just gave [Darren] Dreifort $55 million when he's only won 39 games in his career and had arm surgery. They gave Shawn Green $13 million a year. And how about Carlos Perez -- paying him $6 million a year?
"And you talk about risk, that I'm a risk? That's an insult. ... I'm getting less than Dreifort? I'm getting just $3 million more than Carlos Perez? It's not my fault they signed Perez to that stupid contract. It's not my fault they gave Eric Karros a no-trade clause when he's got no value. It's not my fault they gave Greenie all that money.
"They give out all of these dumb contracts, and when it comes to me -- nothing. And I'm even willing to defer a lot of the money for that. They were saying how they lost $25 million. I almost laughed in their face."
Speaking from the Dodgers' camp in Vero Beach, Brown said he refused to respond until he 'heard the whole situation."
"It's never been my policy to criticize other people," he said. "My job hasn't changed, we'll just see what happens."
Said Green: "He's a grown man, a veteran player. He's got the right to his opinion, and I respect it. Every year, there are distractions.