Gary Sheffield's admission that he unknowingly used steroids in 2002 will not result in any disciplinary action, according to Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations and human resources.

However, "Any player who admits he is involved with steroids is an issue of concern," Manfred said.

Manfred said because of the collective bargaining agreement, baseball officials are able to investigate only incidents that occurred within the last year.

"The more important issue is what this or any player is doing in 2004," Manfred said.

Sheffield told Sports Illustrated he used a cream steroid in 2002 under the guidance of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative to help an ailing knee. The outfielder said he did not know the cream was a steroid. Sheffield declined to talk about the story.

"I always speak my mind," Sheffield said. "It's a story I did before and I stick by that and that's the end of it."

Manfred said had Sheffield admitted to using the steroid within the last 12 months, he would be subject to further scrutiny.

"The most likely course of action would be more aggressive and frequent testing for the individual," Manfred said.

Yankees Manager Joe Torre said he doubted Sheffield would be distracted.

"Sheff had to deal with this in spring training," in testimony to a federal grand jury investigating BALCO, Torre said. "He's all baseball as far as I'm concerned." . . .

The Yankees, concerned about the health of Orlando Hernandez, decided not to activate designated hitter Jason Giambi for the AL Division Series. Instead the Yankees decided to use the roster spot on pitcher Esteban Loaiza. The Yankees are unsure whether Hernandez, nursing a sore right shoulder, will be able to start Game 3 on Friday.

Giambi tried to play himself back into shape following treatment for a benign tumor, but he went 4 for 33 (.121) after he was activated from the disabled list on Sept. 14. He hit a career-low .208 this season with 12 homers and 40 RBI.

C. Jones Says He'll Play

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, nursing a bruised right hand, took batting practice during Tuesday's workout and said he expects to play in Wednesday's opener against the Houston Astros.

"I'm in there," said Jones. "There's no doubt in my mind that I'll be in there."

Jones was hit on the hand by a Carlos Zambrano fastball Saturday in Chicago and did not play in the season finale Sunday.

Jones hit 30 home runs -- 18 in the second half -- drove in 96 runs and hit .278 this season.

Trammell Stays With Tigers

The Detroit Tigers exercised their option on Manager Alan Trammell's three-year contract, keeping him with the team through the 2006 season.

The Tigers went 72-90 last season after losing 119 games in his first year.

"Tram did a fine job managing the club this past season," Tigers President-General Manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We are pleased with the leadership he displayed on the field and the job done by him and his coaching staff." . . .

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Sean Casey had arthroscopic surgery to clean out his right knee.

Casey is expected to be fully recovered in six to eight weeks. He hit .324 and drove in 99 runs this season.

Staff writer Dave Sheinin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi, slowed by ailments this season, was left off playoff roster.