The Tigers probably weren't happy with what they got out of Gary Sheffield. He had been a superstar for a large part of his career and was a consistent 30 home run guy with the Yankees. This was not the guy they signed in 2007.
Unfortunately, Sheffield's injury in 2006 would signal the end for him as a superstar in the MLB. He had a serviceable year in 2007 and completely fell off in 2008. The pain doesn't end there for the Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers agreed to pay Gary Sheffield $12.5 million in deferred money with 3 percent interest back in 2009, the final payment comes in 2019.— Michael Mayer (@mikemayerMMO) July 1, 2018
Sheffield also received an undisclosed amount from the Yankees in deferred payments.
The Tigers agreed to pay Sheffield $12.5 million over the next 10 years. Considering they only got two years out of him and one of those years was an absolute bust, this deal definitely was a loss for Detroit.
Dodgers with 10+ home runs and 25+ walks in the same month:— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) June 29, 2018
Gary Sheffield Sep. '99 (12, 26)
Max Muncy, June '18 (10, 25) https://t.co/a61SX1ut3B
This definitely serves as a cautionary tale for signing veterans based off of past production. Some teams fall in love with guys and will buy high on players come off of career years. It is always important to take into consideration how likely a player is to replicate his numbers going forward.