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Veteran Sheffield files for free agency

Veteran Sheffield files for free agency

NEW YORK -- One player who played a limited role with the Mets in 2009 and one who could play a primary role in the team's 2010 are among the 31 big league players who filed for free agency Monday.

Gary Sheffield, who hit his 500th home run with the Mets in April, and catcher Rod Barajas, who could become a Mets regular next season, availed themselves to the procedure on the fifth day of the 15-day filing period.

Sheffield, who turns 41 next week, almost certainly will not be pursued by the Mets, despite their need for power and that he was their primary source of power when he was in the lineup. Barajas, 34, played in 125 games in his second season with the Blue Jays. He has National League roots, important for a NL catcher. His home run total for 2009, produced in merely 429 at-bats, was 19. It exceeded the Mets' highest total, 12 by Daniel Murphy, and Barajas' RBI total, a career-high 71, would have ranked second among the Mets behind the 72 RBIs of David Wright.

Barajas and fellow free agents Bengie Molina and Yorvit Torrealba are among the catchers the Mets intend to pursue.

Sheffield is the sixth of the eight Mets players eligible for free agency to file. Fernando Tatis and Elmer Dessens have not filed. Alex Cora, Carlos Delgado, Ramon Martinez, J.J. Putz and Brian Schneider have also filed.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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