Sheffield reaches deal with Mets; Ichiro goes on DL

The Baltimore Sun

Gary Sheffield plans to go for No. 500 with the New York Mets.

One home run shy of the milestone, Sheffield reached a contract agreement with New York on Friday, three days after he was released by the Detroit Tigers.

Just hours before opening their beaming new ballpark Friday night with an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox, the Mets made another splash by acquiring the outspoken Sheffield. He is expected to be in New York on Saturday, and the deal is contingent on him passing a physical, general manager Omar Minaya said.

"Gary gives us another element in the lineup, and he gives us a different intensity," Minaya said at Citi Field, before the Mets' 4-3 win over the Red Sox.

Sheffield, 40, would give the Mets a right-handed power hitter, something they need to help balance the batting order. But his role would be tricky: New York was set at the corner outfield spots with Ryan Church in right and Daniel Murphy in left - both left-handed hitters.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said the team would give Sheffield time to get in shape to play the outfield, which he hasn't done regularly since getting hurt in 2006. Sheffield was the Tigers' designated hitter before he was released.

Mariners: : Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki is being treated for a bleeding ulcer and was put on the 15-day disabled list. The team said the ulcer is no longer bleeding, but doctors have restricted his activity. Suzuki played for Japan in the World Baseball Classic and then complained of fatigue. It's the first time in his major league career he has been on the DL.

Nationals: : The team outrighted infielder Kory Casto and left-handed pitcher Mike O'Connor (Mount St. Joseph) to Triple-A Syracuse and placed right-handed reliever Terrell Young on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation.

Et cetera: : The Braves named Jordan Schafer, 22, their starting center fielder. ... The Mariners returned Rule 5 selection Reegie Corona, an outfielder, to the Yankees. ... The Twins optioned infielder Matt Tolbert to Triple-A Rochester. ... The Royals sent first baseman Ryan Shealy to Triple-A Omaha.

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