Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
GM Ben Cherington put a stop to some initial suggestions regarding the Boston Red Sox plan for Grady Sizemore. MassLive.com’s Jason Mastrodonato relays that Cherington said at Thursday’s BBWAA Boston dinner there are no guarantees that Sizemore is on the Opening Day roster.
"We weren’t making any proclamations on what the Opening Day roster was before signing Grady and we’re not now. But we’re looking forward to getting to know him better."
Reports at the time Sizemore’s signing was announced suggested that the team will give him every chance to win playing time in center field – which is likely true anyway – and that he’d likely platoon with Jackie Bradley Jr. The speculation even went as far as some open questioning of what the move might mean to a player like Mike Carp, who would appear to be the likely odd man out.
Cherington and John Farrell both spoke further at the awards banquet (also from Mastrodonato), both specifically offering a vote of confidence in Bradley as if to enforce the point that the team will head into camp expecting him to win the starting center field job. They are, however, optimistic about what Sizemore might bring to the table. Jonny Gomes works out with him during the offseason and relayed promising reports to the team before the signing was completed. He also spoke highly of Sizemore on Thursday:
"That guy, in his heyday, he was one of the big pieces that kicked off the 30-30 center fielder guy. Now that’s almost expected, which is tough. You look at the McCutchens, the Trouts, the Grandersons. But for my time, it was Grady. There is one thing in this game you can’t help and that’s health. So hopefully he gets back on track. I work out with him everyday and he’s in there grinding."
Sizemore is believed to be healthy for the first time in two seasons so it will be interesting to see how he adapts once Spring Training begins. Cherington doesn’t rule out the possibility of Sizemore accepting some time in the minor leagues if he’s not 100% ready to go, which does present an intriguing option to keep in mind.