Former Indians All-Star, Grady Sizemore, Could Return to Action
Not much has gone right for Grady Sizemore as of late. After rising to near super-star with the Indians during the mid to late 2000’s, injuries have put his career on hold. Microfracture, back, and sports hernia surgeries derailed what was shaping up to be one of the most promising careers we had ever seen from any Indians ever. But now, after sitting out two full seasons, Sizemore may be ready to make a comeback.
According to reports from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Cincinnati Reds appear to be nearing a deal for the 31-year-old center fielder. However, it isn’t set in stone. Although Rosenthal made it a point to name the Reds as the lead candidate to secure Sizemore’s services, he also added that several teams are showing interest and he could still opt to sign with another team should they present him with a better opportunity.
Sources: #Reds in advanced talks with Grady Sizemore, but still possible that he will go in another direction. Other teams involved.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 19, 2014
For the right price, Grady Sizemore could prove to be a worthwhile signing. During his prime he was a perennial all-star and was maybe one of the ten or fifteen best players in all of baseball. For four straight seasons between 2005 and 2008, Sizemore accumulated 24.6 bWAR. That’s better than six wins above replacement per year. He made three straight all-star teams in that time, won two gold gloves and a silver slugger, and posted a .281/.372/.496 slash line with 107 home runs, 115 stolen bases, 325 RBI and a 128 OPS+. Not too shabby.
Admittedly, the odds of ever seeing that Grady Sizemore ever again range somewhere between slim and none. At the age of 31, he is on the downward half of his career. With all the injuries and wear and tear on his body, playing in 150-160 games in a season just isn’t going to happen. He’s not going to be the same player, not by a long shot.
But what might the Reds, or any team for that matter, be getting is they decide to sign Grady Sizemore?
For the Reds, they will be getting insurance in center field. They plan to go with Billy Hamilton as their everyday center fielders this season, but there is no guarantee how he will perform in a more expansive sample size. Sizemore provides them with a legitimate backup in case Hamilton should run into difficulties. Sizemore also gives Hamilton a mentor, what with the #veteranpresents and all.
In a best case scenario, there is the slight chance that Sizemore has one last run left in him. While he is on the wrong side of 30, 31 is still considered to be within a player’s prime. He could sign with a team and become a legitimate everyday player. Maybe Sizemore finds the power stroke we hoped he would develop as an Indians and hit 30 home runs. At this point in his career, he will probably be a middle of the order hitter responsible for knocking in runs rather than creating them.
Regardless of what happens, anyone who was a fan of Grady Sizemore during his time with the Indians, pretty much everyone, has to be excited about him getting a chance to finish his career on his terms. Watching him break down year after year and become a shadow of his former self was hard to watch. Hopefully, the time off over the past two seasons has given him a chance to fully recover and get himself prepared to make an impact at the big league level once again.