Sizemore Doesn’t Fit With the Red Sox
It didn’t come as much of a surprise when the Cleveland Indians decided not to pick up the team option on Grady Sizemore. The option would have paid the former Indians centerfielder $8.5 million next season and now all the club has to do is buy him out at a mere $500,000. Simple, yet understandable economics.
Sizemore is now set to become a free agent, but is first eligible for arbitration. It was stated by the Indians GM, Chris Antonetti that the team will stay in touch with the former all-star, with hopes that Sizemore would consider coming back to the only organization he’s known, but at a much lower price.
It’s not likely that Sizemore will accept a low-ball offer from the Indians right away, instead his agent will search the market looking for any teams that might take a chance on him with a decent contract offer. If one of those teams is the Red, then perhaps they better reconider as Sizemore doesn’t appear to be a good fit for Boston.
With an already congested outfield, the Red Sox would need Sizemore to convert to a right fielder, a position that he’s never played in his major league career. But considering his athletic and versatile nature, that would be the least of the Red Sox or Sizemore’s worries.
The biggest worry for any team to take a chance on Sizemore is of course his health. The once titled “franchise player” for the Indians, Sizemore has struggled in the past two years to put toghether a consistent, healthy campaign. In fact, he hasn’t played a full season when you take his games played from 2010 and 2011 combined.
The 2010 season saw Sizemore suit up for a mere 33 games, hardly worth looking at his stats. This past year, the Seattle native again failed to stay healthy, restricted to just 71 games and 295 at-bats thanks to left knee surgery and a sports hernia. Perhaps this past season was a sign of things to come with a decrease in games played in the last three years.
The 29-year old does bring an impressive personal resume with him, having been selected to three all-star games, a recipient of the Gold Glove award in back-to-back seasons (2007-08) and a Silver Slugger award in 2008. It was the ’08 season in which Sizemore hit a career high 33 homers, drove in a career best 90 runs and swiped a personal best 38 bases.
But the days of stealing 30+ bases for Sizemore are likelyover after knee surgery. He’ll have to turn to his power that he’s been able to showcase during his last few seasons if he hopes to find a home with a major league club. In 2010, Sizemore hit 10 long balls in 259 plate appearances; not a bad ratio. In 2009 he smacked 18 long balls in 106 games; not great but decent. If he can hit 20 home runs and drive in 70+ RBI, then Sizemore becomes an option for a team looking for an outfielder. Boston just doesn’t appear to be that club.
Given the fact that the Red Sox have already declared right field to be up for grabs between Ryan Kalish and Josh Reddick, signing Sizemore would only complicate things. Another strike against Sizemore is he’s a left handed bat, something the Red Sox are not short on in their lineup.
But the biggest strike is his health. You just don’t know if he’s durable and that makes him a huge risk. Sure the Sox could sign him to a one-year deal and take a chance on him, like they did with Adrian Beltre. You may recall Beltre was coming off a couple of years where he wasn’t exactly 100% healthy and he proved that the risk the Sox took on him was worth every penny.
Sizemore just doesn’t measure up for me though. He’s most effective when he’s running wild on the basepaths and I don’t see that happening with his rash of injuries. While he could come relatively cheap, Cherington is better off spending his money elsewhere.
I still think Michael Cuddyer is a better fit than Sizemore for right field . Split the playing time between him and Kalish, trade Reddick and go after some pitching during this offseason. If only it were that easy.
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