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Yankees sign free-agent outfielder Gary Sheffield


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c/o MLB.com

 

Yankees sign free-agent outfielder Gary Sheffield

 

 

The New York Yankees announced today that they have signed free-agent outfielder Gary Sheffield to a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth year.

He will be introduced at a media conference at Yankee Stadium today at 2:00 p.m.

 

Sheffield, 35, joins the Yankees after leading the Atlanta Braves with a .330 batting average and a career-high 132 RBI in 2003. He also set a career-high in runs (126) and posted a career-best 24-game hitting streak from July 26-August 20. His 132 RBI were third most in the Majors, behind Toronto's Carlos Delgado (145) and Colorado's Preston Wilson (141). He also ranked among National League leaders in total bases (third, 348), runs (fourth, 126), slugging percentage (fifth, .604), extra-base hits (tied for fifth, 78), on-base percentage (sixth, .419) and home runs (tied for seventh, 39). Sheffield struck out just 55 times in 576 at-bats in 2003, and finished third in voting for the National League MVP.

 

The seven-time All-Star batted over .300 for the sixth straight season in 2003, equaling his career-best .330 average (also batted .330 in 1992 with San Diego). In addition to reaching the 2,000 career-hit plateau, Sheffield stole his 200th career base this past season and became just the 17th player in Major League history to hit at least 300 home runs and steal at least 200 bases. He has hit at least 34 home runs and recorded at least 100 RBI in four of the last five seasons (missed 28 games in 2002 due to injury).

 

Sheffield's 379 career home runs are the most of any player ever acquired by the Yankees prior to the start of a season (Jose Canseco had 440 home runs when he was claimed off waivers by the Yankees on August 7, 2000).

 

Originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round (sixth overall pick) of the 1986 free-agent draft, Sheffield has spent parts of 16 seasons with five Major League clubs (Milwaukee, 1988-91; San Diego Padres, 1992-93; Florida Marlins, 1994-98; Los Angeles Dodgers, 1998-2001; Atlanta, 2002-03). Sheffield is a native of Tampa, Florida, and the nephew of former Yankee Dwight Gooden.

 

The New York Yankees will host a media conference today at 2:00 p.m. in the Stadium Club at Yankee Stadium to introduce Gary Sheffield. Media members should enter the Stadium through the "Yankee Offices" entrance on Ruppert Place.

 

DATE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2003

 

TIME: 2:00 P.M.

 

PLACE: STADIUM CLUB, YANKEE STADIUM

Parking Available in Lot 14 (Players Parking Lot)

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