Yankees plan to exercise his $13 million option for next season
NEW YORK (AP) -- Gary Sheffield is angry that the New York Yankees plan to exercise his $13 million option for next season rather than allow him to become a free agent.
While the Yankees have until Nov. 5 to decide on the option, Sheffield told USA Today that he has been told it will be exercised.
"This will not work, this will not work at all," he was quoted as saying in Thursday editions. "I don't want to play first base a year for them. I will not do that."
If the Yankees exercise the option, included as part of the three-year contract Sheffield negotiated before the 2004 season, they likely would trade him. By exercising the option, they can prevent him from winding up with the Boston Red Sox.
Sheffield was New York's right fielder before he was sidelined from May 29 to Sept. 22 with an injured left wrist that required surgery. When he returned, he played first base for the first time in his major league career.
"I don't know what they're (Yankees) going to do," Sheffield was quoted as saying. "Maybe they picked it up just to trade me. If they do that, if I just (go) to a team for one year, there's going to be a problem."
Late in the season, Sheffield expressed a willingness to play first base, saying it wouldn't bother him.
Sheffield, who turns 38 next month, hit .298 with six homers and 25 RBIs in 39 games this year.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Sheffield's agent, Rufus Williams, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
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