on April 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Tigers release Sheffield one home run shy of 500

DETROIT (Reuters) – Slugger Gary Sheffield was released by the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, one home run short of the 500 milestone.

Sheffield, who signed a two-year deal with the Tigers and is guaranteed $14 million this season, said on MLB.com that he was told by manager Jim Leyland at the Tigers’ Spring training base in Lakeland, Florida, that the team wanted a more versatile lineup.

A nine-time all-star, the 40-year-old slugger needs one homer to become the 25th player in the Major Leagues to record 500 home runs.

Sheffield, who had spent the last two seasons in Detroit, told MLB.com that he was surprised by the move.

“I never really thought about it, to be honest with you,” Sheffield said.

One of baseball’s most feared hitters, Sheffield has amassed 2,615 hits and 1,633 RBIs over 21 seasons that have included stints with the Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees.

(Writing by Steve Keating; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)