Grady Sizemore Rumors
Here's a look at the latest from Buster Olney of ESPN.com (all links go to Twitter)..
- Rival teams say the Phillies' asking price for Shane Victorino is extremely high right now, Olney tweets. Last week, people familiar with the club's thinking told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that whether he is dealt before the deadline or plays out the year in Philadelphia, he doesn't appear to be long for the organization.
- Victorino would be a fit for many teams including the Indians, Pirates, and maybe the Yankees, but it's not clear if anyone would give them value equal to the draft pick they would receive as compensation, tweets Olney.
- Speaking of the Indians and their outfield situation, they're not completely ruling out a return for Grady Sizemore this year, Olney tweets. They're also not necessarily expecting to see him back in action as his legs haven't responded in rehab.
- It makes total sense for the Braves to pursue Mariners infielder Brendan Ryan, says Olney. The 30-year-old is making $1.75MM on the back end of a two-year pact.
Some links from around MLB...
- ESPN's Keith Law posted a list of the top 100 prospects in this year's amateur draft. High school outfielder Byron Buxton and high school shortstop Carlos Correa top the list.
- "I love this game and I don't see myself calling it quits anytime soon," said Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (Twitter link). Sizemore is currently on the DL with a back issue, the latest problem in a long line of injuries in recent years.
- Royals owner David Glass says he hasn't spoken to anyone about selling his team despite rumors to the contrary, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. "I've not talked to anyone, nor has any of my family talked to anyone," he said.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America explains how teams and player representatives are working to side-step the international spending restrictions imposed under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement. MLB is aware of the loopholes and would object more strongly to some than others.
- Recent extensions talks haven’t taken place for Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels or Tim Lincecum, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Greinke and Hamels are eligible for free agency this offseason, while Lincecum is under team control through 2013.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that Edinson Volquez of the Padres looks like a trade candidate (Twitter link). However, six of the right-hander’s seven starts have been at Petco Park, a generally forgiving environment for pitchers.\
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Indians CEO Paul Dolan recently spoke to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer about a number of topics concerning business both on and off the field...
- Dolan wasn't "shocked" to hear about Roberto Hernandez (a.k.a. Fausto Carmona) living under a false identity, saying that the team had heard an unsubstantiated rumor about the situation last year.
- Grady Sizemore will miss at least one month of the regular season after undergoing minor back surgery, but Dolan doesn't regret re-signing the outfielder. "It's disappointing that he got hurt again," Dolan said. "But we thought it was worth the risk because no one else on the [free agent] market had even close to Grady's upside for that price."
- Though recent long-term signings like Sizemore, Travis Hafner and Jake Westbrook have suffered injuries, Dolan said he is still open to signing players to such deals, though not without some caution. "If Chris [Antonetti] and Mark [Shapiro] comes to us with a long-term deal they want to make, we will seriously consider it. They have not done that [lately]," Dolan said. "We will remain open, but in totality, how successful have those kind of deals been? More often than not, they have been failures."
- Dolan disputed a recent Forbes article that claimed the Indians made a $30MM profit in 2011, arguing that while the club "made a little bit" of profit, that money went back into the team. Dolan said the MLB Players Association cited the Indians as a franchise that was properly using the league's revenue sharing system.
- Dolan was surprised when GM Chris Antonetti approached him about the Ubaldo Jimenez deal last summer. "Like most fans, I'm used to us trading for prospects -- not trading some of our best prospects," Dolan said. "I was happy to see us take that approach and try to win."
- It doesn't concern Dolan that the Indians don't have any players under contract past 2013, as the CEO notes that the team has control over many of its young stars like Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis for years to come.
- Dolan didn't address rumors that the team was looking to sell cable network Sports Time Ohio, but said, "We are always looking to add revenue on the TV side of things."
- It doesn't sound as if Dolan was totally satisfied with baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. "We achieved labor peace," said Dolan. "But we didn't address the fundamental problems [such as a lack of a salary cap]."
- Dolan said that there have been no "serious buyers" interested in purchasing the team during his ownership stint. He would possibly have interest in a minority investor, should such an interested investor come forward.
- The Tigers' signing of Prince Fielder dwarfed the Tribe's modest payroll increase of $50MM to $70MM. "I understand that makes us look bad," Dolan said. "I don't understand the foundation of what they are doing ... OK, in the short term, I do understand it, but long term ..." The Tigers' desire to win now makes them "operate much different than most franchises. Even the teams in major markets tend to operate as we do -- they spend what they take in and don't go way above that."
Now that the calendar has flipped to March, Opening Day seems that much closer. Here are some links from around MLB, starting with a pair of injury updates...
- The Pirates announced that A.J. Burnett has an orbital fracture of his right eye and will require surgery. The club didn’t provide a timetable for the right-hander, who was acquired from the Yankees last month.
- The Indians announced that Grady Sizemore underwent a “minimally invasive low back procedure” and is expected to miss two to three months.
- Agent Jeff Berry told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that no discussions about a multiyear deal for Giants catcher Buster Posey are expected to take place before Opening Day. Posey hasn't played since last May 25th, so it's more likely that an extension would become a priority next offseason.
- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner confirmed to reporters, including Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger, that he is intent on lowering payroll below $189MM by 2014 for luxury tax purposes (Twitter link).
Here's a look at some items out of the Central divisions..
- Even though the outfielder has suffered yet another setback, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com doesn't see the re-signing of Grady Sizemore as a mistake for the Indians. The 29-year-old is set to earn $5MM with as much as $4MM in incentives in 2012.
- Jason Kendall enjoys serving as a coach for the Royals but still hopes to play again, writes Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star. The 37-year-old hasn't played since his stint with Kansas City in 2010.
- Reds CEO Bob Castellini also gave a solid endorsement of skipper Dusty Baker, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The manager is in the final year of his contract.
- Castellini says that there's mutual interest between the club and Joey Votto in completing a new deal, tweets Morosi. The slugger has been tight-lipped on contract talks but acknowledged that they are something of a distraction. Ben Nicholson-Smith recently wrote that it could cost as much as $160MM to keep Votto signed through 2020.
- Castellini also acknowledged that the club is active in talks with second baseman Brandon Phillips, Morosi tweets.
- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio wants to wrap up contract extensions for GM Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke before Opening Day, writes Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Meanwhile, Attanasio didn't say much about free agents-to-be Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com surveyed this offseason's stronger-than-usual relief market with the help of many Major League GMs. The Red Sox aren’t desperate for a closer, because Daniel Bard and Bobby Jenks are already in their ‘pen, but GM Ben Cherington figures to explore the market for closers after losing Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies.
- The Phillies, Rockies and Cubs had more interest in Grady Sizemore than any teams except the Indians, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter links). Hoynes has the details on Sizemore’s incentives: the outfielder obtains $1MM if he reaches 500 plate appearances and $500K for every 25 plate appearances until he reaches 650.
- The Padres aren’t likely to sign any free agent pitchers to Major League deals this offseason, according to MLB.com’s Corey Brock (on Twitter). Padres GM Josh Byrnes sent starter Wade LeBlanc to Miami yesterday.
- The Rockies had mild interest in Bruce Chen before he re-signed in Kansas City, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Twins and Cubs were Chen’s primary suitors other than the Royals, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- Other than the Indians, the Rangers were the only team that told Grady Sizemore he’d play center field, according to Heyman. The outfielder re-signed in Cleveland today for a base salary of $5MM with up to $4MM in incentives.
- The Phillies were a “strong option” for Sizemore, but they wanted him in left field, Heyman reports.
- Heyman has future slot recommendations for amateur draft picks. MLB recommends a bonus of $7.2MM for the first overall pick and the recommendations decrease to $6.2MM, $5.2MM, $4.2MM, $3.5MM and $3.2MM for picks #2-6. The final selection of the first round will have a recommended bonus of $1.6MM. Given the penalties for teams that surpass MLB's recommended bonuses, Stephen Strasburg's $15.1MM deal will probably remain a record for a while.
- MLBTR has details on, analysis of and reaction to the CBA.
Some links to check out as we await tonight's 11pm central time arbitration deadline...
- Though teams are interested, there's nothing imminent regarding a trade of Huston Street, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post. A source also tells Renck that the Rockies have not spoken with the Cubs about Matt Garza.
- The Red Sox won’t reach a decision on their new manager before tomorrow, a team source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- Indians GM Chris Antonetti doesn't expect Grady Sizemore to play 150-160 games next year, but does think that the center fielder will play the "vast majority of games" in 2012, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.
Grady Sizemore will remain with the Indians in 2012, announced the team today. Sizemore receives a $5MM base salary and $4MM in incentives on a one-year deal, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. He has a chance to reach the value of the option the Indians turned down, with the incentives kicking in at 450 plate appearances according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. Sizemore would get $500K for winning the Comeback Player of the Year award, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. A corresponding 40-man roster move is a few days away, according to the team.
The Indians chose a $500K buyout over Sizemore's $9MM option in October, and with at least eight teams showing interest it seemed that he'd play elsewhere for the first time in his big league career. Sizemore, 29, is a risky player given his health issues the last three years. From 2005-08, he was one of the game's best players for the Tribe, garnering MVP votes in each season.
Since 2009 Sizemore has missed time due to injuries to his elbow, abdominal wall, and left knee, the last of which required microfracture surgery in June of 2010. He had surgery for a sports hernia this year, and a right knee injury culminated in an October arthroscopy. He's expected to be ready for Spring Training. Sizemore's agent, Joe Urbon of CAA Sports, says his client will continue to play center field for the Indians.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday...
- The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will implement some major changes to the draft, but Baseball America's Jim Callis says the spending limitations won't be as drastic as initially thought.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports (on Twitter) that slots for the first four picks for the draft will be $7.2MM, $6.2MM, $5.2MM, and $4.2MM. Teams are not required to spend that much, however.
- In an Insider-only breakdown, ESPN's Keith Law analyzed the new CBA point-by-point. "The net result here is a big negative for the sport," he says. Click here for some more CBA reactions.
- The Rangers were not in on Jonathan Papelbon before he signed with the Phillies, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford (on Twitter). Texas signed Joe Nathan to close yesterday.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian says (on Twitter) that the Indians will give Lonnie Chisenhall every chance to win their third base job in Spring Training, so don't expect their search for offense to result in an upgrade at the hot corner.
- In a second tweet, Bastian says the one-year deal between the Indians and Grady Sizemore should be announced soon, perhaps on Wednesday.
- The Diamondbacks announced their minor league coaching staffs in a press release. Former D'Backs Jay Bell and Robby Hammock have joined the club's player development staff.
- Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review passes along some changes the Pirates have made to their scouting department.