We received late breaking news that had us shocked. This comes on the heels of the anouncement that the Tigers had released right handed slugger Gary Sheffield. Here’s the e-mail we received from our well placed source:
Reds are going hard after Sheffield. They’re looking to sign him soon and the deal should be anounced by friday afternoon when the team is ready to return from Florida. Ownership believes that having a guy needing one more home run to get to .500 will help attendance early in the season and the Reds can get a bargain for Sheff since he is just looking to get back in the league for one last tour of duty. He can play left field (and right every now and then) and spell Votto at 1st. He’ll be excellent coming off the bench and should be accepting of that role. This is perfect for Cincinnati because they need an imposing figure hitting right handed. Sheffield fits that mold perfectly.
The other piece of news in which we found even more interesting was that the Reds are actually considering signing Pedro Martinez to a 1-year incentive laden contract. The e-mail continues:
Reds are going to also offer Pedro Martinez a 1-year contract. How much be makes will be highly dependant on how many starts he makes and how many escalators he can reach. The inetersting part of the deal is that the Reds will option Homer Bailey down to the minor leagues and keep him down there saving his last option. They’re going to DL Bronson Arroyo and Martinez will be the 5th starter for them. By signing Martinez this allows them to trade Aaron Harang or Arroyo if they need to if Pedro is effective. Once again, it will help attendance the owner believes.
So these two moves would be a huge shot in the arm for the Redlegs! What exciting news to receive less then a week before Opening Day. As with any rumor, you take it with a grain of salt until it happens; but this source has never been wrong before. Time will tell.