We’ve discussed the rumors, and provided our opinion on the matter. Today, the Cleveland Indians have announced that they have agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Grady Sizemore. The deal will reportedly pay Sizemore a base of $5 million with up to $4 million being attainable through plate appearance-based incentives.
The team declined Sizemore’s $9 million option earlier this fall, but reiterated that the team would keep lines of communication open with hopes of the player rejoining the team for the 2012 season. Though Sizemore had instant interest from other teams, it appears that the best option was for him to return to Cleveland at a bit of a discount with the hopes of putting together a healthy season that would enable him to elevate his value back to a level of respectability. As our own Jon put best, there isn’t a lot of guaranteed money lying around for players who are anything but a guarantee.
Back of the envelope, the Indians just nabbed themselves a high-upside option for $5 million, the exact same cost of a durable, back-of-the-rotation arm in Derek Lowe. The Tribe, in turn, employ a question mark for half of the price that it would have cost them if they had picked up his option, and they have an out if – at age 29 – the player never bounces back to the levels at which he played several seasons ago. Surely, these names are not going to wow anyone in or outside of Cleveland, but they’re just the type of gambles that a team like the Indians have to make if they’re going to build off of last season’s surprising run. It’s anticipated that another outfield bat will be added, but fans can rest assured that Ryan Braun is not walking through those doors.
Sizemore has been on and off of the disabled list for the majority of the last three seasons. He could conceviably haul in an additional $500,000 if he is awarded “Comeback Player of the Year,” which would in turn mean very good things for an Indians team in desparate need of solidity in the outfield.
(AP Photo/Bret Hartman)