After months of speculation, uncertainty, and back-and-forth shifts in popular opinion, the Indians will have to make a decision about what to do with Grady Sizemore and Fausto Carmona’s 2012 options within the next 48 hours.
All decisions for contract options—exercising or declining, player, team, or mutual—must be made within three days of the end of the World Series, which this year means by the end of the day Monday—11:59 p.m. EDT (or 23:59, in 24-hour time), to be exact.
So what will the decision be? MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian created a buzz Saturday night by saying “it is expected” that the Indians will decline Sizemore’s $9 million option and give him his $500,000 buyout while picking up Carmona’s $7 million option. Some publications are already reporting this as fact, but since Bastian didn’t cite any inside sources confirming that the team’s mind was made up (not faulting him for this, it just means we don’t have verification) and the Plain Dealer‘s Paul Hoynes‘ note that GM Chris Antonetti said he would use his full allotted time to make up his mind, we shouldn’t be too hasty in assuming that the front office has already made the decisions.
For what it’s worth, I agree that declining Sizemore’s option and picking up Carmona’s is the most likely course of action—all of our writers agree that $9 million is too much to pay for Sizemore, and the Indians would lose their current control of Carmona through 2014 if they don’t exercise his option—but neither decision is a no-brainer, and there’d be no reason for the Tribe brass to have kept quiet for so long if they were certain of their course of action.
There’s nothing wrong with speculation, but be careful not to confuse rumor and opinion with official information and confirmed facts. We’ll have answers soon enough.