Make Or Break Year: Grady Sizemore

AQA10042302_Indians_At_Athletics It wasn't too long ago that Grady Sizemore was one of the best players on the planet. He hit .279/.380/.499 with 85 homers and 93 steals from 2006 through 2008, ranking third among all center fielders with a +22.5 UZR. Three All-Star Game appearances, three top-12 finishes in the MVP voting, and two Gold Gloves are fantastic accomplishments over a career. Sizemore did all that before he turned 27. 

It's clear that Grady and his ladies were well on their way to superstardom, but injuries started to get in the way. He battled a sore elbow early in the 2009 season, eventually hitting the disabled list for over three weeks with inflammation. With the Indians out of the race and his batting line sitting at a respectable but un-Grady-like .248/.343/.445 in early-September, Sizemore shut it down for the season and had surgery on both his elbow and abdomen.

Healthy at the outset of the 2010, Sizemore's season lasted all of 33 games. He hurt his knee sliding into a base in April then re-aggravated the injury the next month, playing his final game of the season on May 16th. Sizemore hit just .211/.271/.289, and had mirofracture surgery on his left knee in early-June. The six-to-nine month recovery time has him on track for Opening Day, and ESPN's Buster Olney reported last week that Grady has started hitting off a tee, the first wave of baseball activity he's performed since the surgery.

The Indians made waves by signing Sizemore to a six-year, $23.45MM contract back in 2006, then the largest contract (in terms of guaranteed money) ever given to a player with less than two years of service time. That contract expires at the end of the 2011 season, though the team will have to decide between a $9MM club option for 2012 or a $500K buyout.

That option looked like a no-brainer not too long ago, but it's been two full seasons since Sizemore was healthy enough to play more than 106 games, and it's been close to two calendar years since he was completely healthy and productive. We've heard that the Indians would love to trade their second highest paid player, but he's got to prove his health before the team can even think about getting fair value in return. 

Sizemore won't turn 29 until August, and a return to his MVP-caliber form will ensure that his option is picked up. If he doesn't rebound, he'll hit the open market with his stock at an all-time low. 

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

53 Responses to Make Or Break Year: Grady Sizemore Leave a Reply

  1. “We’ve heard that the Indians would love to trade their second highest paid player…”

    Please, Cafardo is full of $%&*. Antonetti has repeatedly stated that he’s not trading Sizemore OR Carmona, so why do people continue to insist that trading Sizemore is a top priority or that his injury concerns are the only things holding them back?

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

      Really. The Indians have never even hinted at wanting to move Sizemore. His value is low right now, and his contract isn’t large enough to cause heartburn this year.

      Add to that the fact that the Indians almost always see their injured players through to the bitter end. Moving Sizemore anytime soon just isn’t going to happen.

      • jphenix2002 5 years ago

        Considering how long the Indians have allowed Pronk to reestablish some value, I can see them giving Grady the entire year to prove his health before they even consider trading him (though I cannot see him being dealt personally). Granted Hafner is half the all-around player Sizemore is, but the fact Hafner hasn’t returned to his ’05-’06 form since the injury further proves my point that Grady will get his due time to prove himself once again.

        • RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

          The Indians would haves moved Hafner 3 years ago if anyone would swallow his contract. Problem is he and his contract are untraceable and that’s the only reasons he’s still an Indian, not patience. Give me a break!

          • It’s hard to understand what you’re saying.

          • MaineSox 5 years ago

            he and his contract are untraceable man, keep up!

          • jphenix2002 5 years ago

            I knew I would get at least one person who would say that. If Vernon Wells can be traded, Pronk can be traded.

          • RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

            So you’re contradicting yourself then! So much for having patience with Pronk! He’s both terrible and untraceable which is why the Indians would unload him for a bag of balls if they could!

          • jphenix2002 5 years ago

            Contradicting myself? You are a poor reader. I merely said Sizemore would be given the full year to prove his abilities and health based on the fact that Pronk has been given multiple chances to do the same (though Hafner never did return to form) while asserting I believe the Indians would hold onto their fan-favorite player. Nowhere did I say a Sizemore trade is impossible. After you said the Indians didn’t trade Pronk because of his “untraceable” contract (points to you for being humourous about your own misspelling), I pointed out that if Wells can be moved, Pronk can be mo…. wait I forgot I’m arguing with a Sox blowhard. hahaha jokes on me I guess..

    • alxn 5 years ago

      Couldn’t agree more. Cafardo seems to utterly embarrass himself when he tries to give insight on rumors outside of Boston. I guess he wasn’t informed of this when he wrote that article (from Cots):

      if Sizemore is traded:
      he receives $0.5M assignment bonus and his salaries for remaining seasons increase by 10%
      2012 option becomes a player option (buyout forfeited if Sizemore declines the option)

      So basically a team trading for Sizemore will lose all leverage. If he has a great year (what a team trading for him would hope for) then he can opt out and seek a new contract. If he gets injured again or performs badly he can decide to exercise the option.

      Basically this means that someone trading for Sizemore would only value him as a 1-year rental, while the Indians would expect to get 2 years worth of value back. Good luck working out a trade there.

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        Just curious, but what if the Indians let Sizemore reestablish value all season long, then exercise the club option, then trade him to a team getting a full year of Grady, healthy at a reasonable price? I’m not entirely sure how MLB rules would come into play, but if I’m not wrong the best thing for Cleveland would be for Grady to have a phenomenal year, then trade him while they can get more than 2 drafti picks for him, right?

        • RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

          I doubt he’s worth 2 draft picks(type A) unless he has 2 really good years in a row!

        • alxn 5 years ago

          Yeah that would seem like the ideal outcome for them

    • RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

      When do Gms publicly say they are looking to trade someone? Cafardo’s probably right as Sizemore is useless rebuilding in Cleveland and the tribe would def unload his salary for a decent package. I don’t know what a decent package for him is but The Tribe did unload CC, Lee, and VMart so Sizemores next IMO!

      • Yeah, those were guys at the top of their game that they knew they wouldn’t be able to resign once they hit free agency. Considering that Sizemore had already been locked up through free agent years then there’s no reason to move him vs Martinez, Lee or CC. Lee openly stated that he wanted to test the free agent market, as was Sabbathia, and the Yankees never tried to hide the fact that they were going to make a push for him.

        So yeah, Cafardo is full of $#%& and this doesn’t even compare to the situations that CC, Lee or Martinez were in.

  2. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    Because it’s happened in the past (see CC, Lee, VMart, etc). Not saying it’s imminent, but there’s a pattern. I don’t think it will happen before the season and I don’t think it’ll happen before Sizemore can prove he’s healthy but I wouldn’t be shocked if/when it happens.

    • There is no precedent here because if Sizemore hits free agency he could be had cheaply due to injury concerns, and if he doesn’t do well this season or gets hurt again he’ll have no value, his career could be very well over (which is the point of the article, no?) so, unlike Martinez, Lee or CC, he’s not going to be targeted by big money clubs for big money. If anyone takes him in free agency in 2012 or 2013 it’ll be a mid market club taking a one, maybe two year flier on him for little cost.

      The Indians traded who the knew that they couldn’t get back, V-Mart was traded with time left and an option coming off of a down year, but they knew they were going to be able to compete with him, Lee was traded with one year plus an option when his value was at it’s highest and they knew he wanted to test free agency and that big market clubs would be in on him. Sabathia was traded with one year left with his value at it’s highest (just came off a Cy Young award season) and they knew teams like the Yankees were going to target him in free agency so they go the most they could out of him when they could.

      The Indians aren’t trading Sizemore this year. Period.

  3. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    If it’s true that he may end up on the trading block, sounds like the type of player Anthopoulos would go after. Maybe a little more risky though.

    • Sox1265 5 years ago

      If he gets hurt relese him

      • Jonathunder 5 years ago

        Just no, absolutely not.

        • Sox1265 5 years ago


          • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

            From the Indians standpoint, there’s still alot of talent there. If they give him up for “fair value,” and gets hurt, that’s kind of a waste no?

          • Yankees420 5 years ago

            “that’s kind of a waste no?”

            For Cleveland? I think I’m not comprehending something….

  4. Jonathunder 5 years ago

    He is still one of the fan favorites in Cleveland, even with injuries. 28 for most of the year, when healthy, arguably the most exciting center fielder in the game. He gives it his all every single play with no regards to his body. He can hit for power, he can steal bases, and he should finally be healthy again. Give the man a chance to prove why he was on pace to be a perennial MVP candidate.

  5. Why would you “love” to trade a guy with value this low? It is like the idea of trading Kemp, he’s not being paid that much, and the talent is there, so why dump him off only to see him tear it up? It’s plain dumb.
    I also think it’s really sad how his career has turned so to the worse. Are steroids the cause? Who knows, probably just a fragile guy, but just hope the guy is clean.

    • nats2012 5 years ago

      Well I guess you take a risk either way, lets say you keep him and he cant play due to injuries, you can get nothing. But if you can get some nice pieces back and sell teams on Gradys past on what he has been and what he can do, it could work out well for you guys. But I would only pull the trigger on a trade if it was a great offer.

  6. Troutman 5 years ago

    Not saying it’s gunna happen or anything
    But if the jays traded for Sizemore what kinda package do you think it would take for them to get him?

  7. “He hit .279/.380/.499 with 85 homers and 93 steals from 2006 through 2008, ranking third among all center fielders with a +22.5 UZR.”

    Why leave his 2005 stats out of the discussion? They seem to be just about as good as his 2006-2008 years.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      His ’05 was very good, but I think most of the writers on here like to use the most recent 3 year (healthy) sample size when trying to predict what they think a player is capable of.

  8. angels love CF’ we need a hotty since nap daddy is gone…

    • RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

      Sizemores contract isn’t big enough for the Angels!

    • nats2012 5 years ago

      Hotty? Are you one of Grady’s ladies Greg?

  9. I’ll swap you Quentin for Sizemore, thoughts?

    • nats2012 5 years ago

      Why would they want an old outfielder on a one year contract? What good what that do the Indians. You would have to give up young players with alot of upside like Chris Sale.

      • The funny thing is Sizemore is 26 days older, a FA after this season, and only played 33 games last year. At least Q managed to play over a hundred. Q is also under control for two more seasons, while Grady is not. Both could use a change of scenery, both could be good again. Chris Sale is way better than Grady.

        • tsv2014 5 years ago

          Uhh, anyone in their right mind will tell you that when Sizemore is healthy he is WAY better than Chris Sale, who you can barely call a major leaguer at this point.

          I actually think Sale for Grady straight up would be a fair trade however.

          • Not even close, six years of Sale who will be a good two starter, or a dominant closer for one maybe two years of Grady, not even close.

          • nats2012 5 years ago

            Chris Sale could wind up being a starter with his stuff. And im just saying players like that. And I think the Indians would do that trade but Chicago wouldnt give him up.

  10. corey23 5 years ago

    slightly off topic here but all of grady’s ladies are hideous… maybe he needs to go somewhere else.

  11. When a player has been injured, requiring multiple surgeries, and missing so much time to return to health, it is typically only after a return to health is a contract extension or option selection made. In Grady Sizemore’s case, his value on the trade market is uncertain at best, lowest at worst. “Selling low” doesn’t make a lot of sense for any player. Selling a fan favorite Like Grady, at all, makes for a public relations nightmare. As has been stated above, Grady will get his due time to prove himself healthy.. after that.. his status with the Indians becomes a baseball decision.

  12. Do you guys see the yankees trying for grady? I mean he’s young and got talent and redsox just got crawford so that would be a splash for NY.You can’t say the yankees wouldn’t want him because crawford was ny’s backup plan for lee, untill the sox swept him off the free agency market!!

  13. RidiculousPage 5 years ago

    I want to think that if he doesn’t do all that well, that the Marlins could get him on a more-than-reasonable deal. However, trying to imagine that, I can’t imagine that even with a low stock, he’d fall to the Marlins on a reasonable deal. I can’t imagine the kid not having substantial interest next off season even if he doesn’t get back to MVP level. Granted, he won’t receive a Werth, or even Bay-like, offer, but he’ll garner interest.

  14. Journalism would love to get rid of Cafardo.

  15. Sox1265 5 years ago

    Release him

  16. Sox1265 5 years ago

    From what?

  17. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago


  18. Sox1265 5 years ago

    U can’t do that

  19. vtadave 5 years ago

    I think he just did. If anyone deserves it, it’s you.

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