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Cafardo on Sheffield, Lackey, Lowell and more

Gary Sheffield

New York Mets’ Gary Sheffield follows through on a single during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, in New York. The Mets won 9-4. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is back with his latest batch of Hot Stove goodies. Here’s a quick run-down ofsome of the more interesting tidbits:

- Gary Sheffield isn’t done. The 41-year-old slugger wants to return for his 23rd season and he has 3,000 hits on his mind.

“After talking to my wife and kids,’' said Sheffield, “they want me to get 3,000 hits [he’s at 2,689]. I want to keep playing, and I know I can go out and hit at least 25 and maybe up to 40 home runs for some team if I get the chance.”

So, Sheffield is currently 311 hits away from 3,000. If we combine his last three seasons, including a very productive 2009, Sheffield only has 299. Let’s just say the odds are stacked heavily against him.

Representing himself, Sheffield hasn’t heard from any teams just yet, however he said he would be open to being a designated hitter while playing the field a couple of times a week. Anybody who watched the Mets last season can’t help but snicker.

- Cafardo speculates that if the Red Sox sign John Lackey they could use Clay Buchholz as a chip in a potential deal for Adrian Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera. Under this scenario, the Red Sox would sign an additional starter like Ben Sheets as insurance for the rotation. Cafardo quotes an American League general manager who says Casey Kotchman or Jed Lowrie could be valuable to other teams in a possible trade this offseason.

- The Red Sox are one of at least a dozen teams to inquire about reliever Mike Gonzalez. Gonzalez, 31, has had arm and elbow issues in the past, however Boston hasn’t examined his medical records as of yet.

- Mike Lowell could be asked to play some first base if his hip doesn’t improve enough to play third base regularly. According to Cafardo, the idea has been discussed internally.

- J.D. Drew underwent surgery on his left shoulder last week to repair inflammation he suffered with during the second half of the season. According to Cafardo, he should be ready for the start of spring training.