Earlier tonight, the Red Sox agreed to sign Grady Sizemore to a one-year, $750K deal that could balloon to $6MM if he reaches all of his incentives. The three-time All-Star was once the face of the Indians franchise but thanks to some unfortunate injuries, he hasn't been on the field since 2011. Sizemore finally felt ready to come back and multiple teams came calling this winter when Sizemore's reps at CAA Sports put out word that their client was healthy and ready to return to baseball. The Reds, in fact, seemed right on the cusp of inking him to a contract until earlier today, when GM Walt Jocketty said in a radio interview that a deal wouldn't be happening. However, when I asked Sizemore how close he was to donning a Reds jersey, he downplayed the seriousness of that talk.
"Honestly, I was talking with multiple teams and I was kind of exploring every option that I could," Sizemore said on this evening's conference call. "In the end, I thought the Red Sox gave me the best opportunity to succeed and that's why I went with these guys."
The Red Sox, Sizemore said, have been talking to him since the start of the offseason, but things truly ramped up in the last "two or three weeks." I asked Sizemore what made the Red Sox the most attractive option of any club and he explained that his familiarity with a few members of the Boston staff coupled with the medical game plan that they laid out for him made them the winner.
One might assume that the opportunity to play center field appealed to Sizemore but he says that he didn't have a positional preference, just a desire to get significant playing time. More than anything, Sizemore sounds like a player who is thrilled to finally be on the path back to MLB.
"It's been frustrating. No one likes to deal with injuries and I've had my fair share. Hopefully that's behind me now. I'm just looking forward to moving on and starting the second half of my career."