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Grady Sizemore Rumors
The Red Sox have officially reached agreement on a one-year, $750K MLB contract with outfielder Grady Sizemore, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Sizemore, 31, is represented by CAA Sports. The deal includes significant incentives based on both plate appearances and the number of days Sizemore appears on the Sox roster, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports (Twitter links). Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter link) that the deal could reach $6MM if all are met.
Once one of the game's brightest stars, Sizemore has not played since 2011 due to a variety of injury issues, including microfracture surgery on his knee as well as operations on his back and a sports hernia. Over the 2005-09 time frame, Sizmore put up an excellent .276/.368/.488 line (with 125 home runs and 128 steals) while playing outstanding center field defense. That made him the fifth most valuable position player in the game over that time, according to Fangraphs, which values him at 28.7 fWAR over that stretch. Over 2010-11, however, Sizemore only saw a total of 435 plate appearances and posted a meager .220/.280/.379 triple-slash.
For a Red Sox team that saw longtime center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury leave via free agency, Sizemore represents an interesting option. Boston had figured to go forward with top prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. as the starter, and the team also controls another player with substantial center field experience in Shane Victorino. But Sizemore brings both depth and upside to the table, and is expected to compete with Bradley for the center field job over the spring, tweets Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
If the Sox decide at some point to give active roster spots to Sizemore and Bradley (both lefties), fellow lefty Mike Carp (already the subject of trade speculation) could end up as trade bait. Of course, given Sizemore's injury history and long layoff — not to mention Bradley's own inexperience — the Sox could wait to see how things play out in Spring Training before making any other moves.
2:03pm: Sizemore appears to be set to sign with a club other than Cincinnati, a source tells MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
WEDNESDAY, 1:32pm: In a radio appearance on 1450 ESPN in Cincinnati, Jocketty stated that "things have changed" and the Reds will not sign Sizemore (Twitter link).
SUNDAY, 4:19pm: "Some details have to be worked out," Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We hope to get something done next week." Jocketty also told Fay both Major League and minor league deals have been discussed with Sizemore.
2:53pm:The Reds are in advanced talks with outfielder Grady Sizemore, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The sources, however, caution other teams are involved and the 31-year-old free agent could go in a different direction.
This is not the first time the Reds have been linked to the three-time All-Star, who hasn't played since 2011 because of microfracture surgery on his right knee and back and sports hernia operations. Earlier this month, Reds GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon he believes Sizemore is healthy enough to resume his career and acknowledged there has been talks with his representatives.
Sizemore slashed .281/.372/.496 with 107 home runs and 115 steals from 2005-08 winning a pair of Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. He missed only nine games over the course of that four-year run, but has appeared in only 210 games since posting a line of .234/.314/.413.
Sizemore would provide insurance for the Reds, who plan on starting rookie Billy Hamilton in center after losing Shin-Soo Choo to free agency. The Astros have also been connected to the Joe Urbon client this winter while the Twins were interested but have since moved on.
The Reds are unlikely to make any splashy moves this offseason, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. "It’s been very quiet," says GM Walt Jocketty. "I haven’t had one discussion with another team or an agent. That could change next week. But I think if we do anything, it will probably be a smaller type of deal." Fay notes that the Reds have no, or almost no, money left in their budget.
That means that the Reds are unlikely to re-sign Bronson Arroyo, and it also means they won't pursue higher-end free agents like Nelson Cruz and Stephen Drew, about whom Jocketty flatly says, "We don’t have the money."
One player the Reds could end up getting is former star Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. "We have [talked]," says Jocketty. "I'm not sure where that is right now. With the holidays, not much has happened." Due to injury trouble, Sizemore has not played since 2011, so if the Reds were to sign him, it would almost certainly be a minor-league deal.
Here are some quick notes from around the West divisions:
- The Mariners have interest in re-signing outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, likely to a one-year, incentive-based deal, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes. (Twitter links).
- M's GM Jack Zduriencik also says the Mariners might attempt to improve their outfield via trades, Divish tweets.
- The Dodgers are discussing Michael Young as a possible option in their infield, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes (via Twitter).
- Mike Morse wants $7MM or $8MM on a one-year contract, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets. That seems to be a lot to pay a player who hit .215/.270/.381 with poor defense last season. The Astros are reportedly among the teams interested in Morse.
- The Astros have also recently spoken with representatives of outfielder Grady Sizemore, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart writes (via Twitter). Sizemore, 31, last played in the big leagues in 2011.
- The Rockies are interested in both Morse and Young, the Denver Post's Troy Renck tweets.
- Now that the Mark Trumbo trade is complete, the Angels are likely to keep second baseman Howie Kendrick, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean says that if infielder Pablo Sandoval comes to spring training in good shape, the Giants would consider signing Sandoval to an extension, MLB.com's Chris Haft tweets.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels says free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz doesn't owe the Rangers special consideration despite missing 50 games in 2013 after being suspended, reports ESPN's Richard Durrett. "He had a decision to make," says Daniels. "[W]e all understood the position he was in. I can’t speak for everybody, but I don’t view it that way. I don’t think he owes us." Cruz could have appealed his suspension and continued to play for the Rangers last season, but he chose not to.
- If the Diamondbacks are unable to trade for a pitcher, they could pursue Matt Garza, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert tweets.
Baseball America's Matt Eddy provided a breakdown of the minor trade that went down earlier in the week that saw the Twins ship Duke Welker back to the Pirates in exchange for Kris Johnson. Johnson has an above-average two- and four-seam fastball that sits in the low 90s, but his breaking pitches are average at best, says Eddy. One bonus for the Twins is that Johnson has three minor league options remaining, while Welker has just one. Here's more on the Twins and the rest of the AL Central…
- The Twins were interested in free agent/reclamation project Grady Sizemore at one point, but they've moved on from Sizemore, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link).
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Royals have had internal discussions about acquiring Brett Anderson from the Athletics. An Anderson acquisition would be a somewhat similar move to GM Dayton Moore's decision to buy low on Ervin Santana in a trade last October. Unlike Santana, however, the Royals could control Anderson for two years, as his contract contains a $12MM option for 2015.
- White Sox southpaw Hector Santiago told the Chicago Tribune's Colleen Kane that the summer trades of Jake Peavy and Matt Thornton taught him that any player can get traded. Santiago said he tries not to worry about hearing his name in rumors. He added that he hopes Chicago's decision to shut him down after 130 innings is an indication that they're protecting his arm so he can throw 200 innings in 2014.
- The Indians will listen to offers on Asdrubal Cabrera this winter, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in his latest mailbag. Hoynes adds that any trading the team does will likely prioritize getting pitching in return, and the team would like to add a free agent starting pitcher. Hoynes lists Bartolo Colon and Jake Westbrook as speculative possibilities.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that there are several top teams that will have surpluses in certain areas this offseason that will be second guessing whatever move they make. In the case of the Dodgers, they have four strong outfielders in Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford. One would imagine that Ethier, who is frequently in trade rumors, would be the one to go, but GM Ned Colletti could also give some thought to dealing Kemp if the right offer comes along. Here's more from today's column..
- After bouncing back from a slow start, catcher Carlos Ruiz is desirable again and the Phillies are more enthused about the idea of re-signing him. That may prove to be difficult once Ruiz gets to the open market as he’d be a cheaper alternative to Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia and more consistent than Dioner Navarro.
- According to Mike Napoli's agent Brian Grieper, there still haven't been contract talks with the Red Sox. It appears they will play it out and decide about a qualifying offer. One possibility is that they put Xander Bogaerts at third and Will Middlebrooks at first, taking Napoli out of the equation.
- Tim Hudson, 38, wants to return from the ankle fracture he suffered in July. Hudson, who should cleared for baseball activities by mid-December, will be a free agent but wants to stay in Atlanta. It'll come down to the money for the veteran, who earned $9MM this season.
- Grady Sizemore tried to get back playing this season, but he needs more time for his knees to heal. He'll likely be ready for a major league camp next spring and work out for teams this offseason to show he’s healthy. If he looks OK, he’ll probably get a few teams interested.
- Some still believe that it was a mistake for the Angels to only pay Mike Trout $510K this season and that he won't forget it when it comes time to work out a new deal with the club.
Former Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore has remained in touch with multiple clubs and is likely to sign with one in the offseason, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). A series of major surgeries on Sizemore's knee, back and elbow have slowed what looked to be one of the most promising careers in baseball a few years ago.
Sizemore, who recently turned 31, hit .281/.372/.496 with 107 homers and 115 steals from 2005-08 — his age 22-25 seasons — earning three straight All-Star selections, a pair of Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. He missed only nine games over the course of that four-year run, but he's played in just 210 games since, hitting .234/.314/.413.
This past offseason, Sizemore stated that he would wait until he was ready to participate in games to sign with a club. He hasn't appeared in the Majors since 2011, but considering the fact that he's still just 31 and will likely receive a minor league deal, I'd imagine a significant number of teams will be in touch with Sizemore's agent, Joe Urbon of CAA Sports. Sizemore was connected to the Mets back in December, and more recent reports indicated that the Twins would be interested as well.
While major league players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal have yet to provide substantive information to MLB, multiple minor leaguers have discussed their transactions with Anthony Bosch's clinic in detail, sources with knowledge of the interviews told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. "Players aren't going to say anything – until they know what [Bosch] said," one source with knowledge of the players' plan said. "There's nothing to be gained from talking now. As long as they don't say anything, they're not lying." Here's more from around baseball..
- Free agent Grady Sizemore is still "a ways away from getting on the field," a source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). We heard last week that there's a "strong belief" that the Twins will have interest in the outfielder when he's ready to return to action.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson believes that the club will have a $90-100MM payroll in 2014, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Alderson estimates that they have roughly $55MM in commitments for next season, which should give them flexibility over the winter.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik did his best to downplay the hype surrounding Mike Zunino when he spoke with reporters earlier today, writes Ryan Divish of The News Tribune.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN has plenty of Twins-oriented news in this week's edition of his "Scoops" column. Here are the highlights…
- Grady Sizemore has resumed baseball activities, and there's a "strong belief" that the Twins will be interested when ready to sign with a team in a month or two. The Twins did their due diligence on Sizemore in March, but Sizemore made it clear in January that he preferred not to sign until he was able to play in games.
- The Twins are one of many teams with interest in Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Wolfson reports. They will send a scout to attend his showcase on June 20. We learned last night that the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox and Cubs are all in on Gonzalez as well, so the Twins will have some deep-pocketed competition.
- Vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff told Wolfson that the Twins "made an effort" to sign Yasiel Puig last year, but obviously they didn't come close to the Dodgers' seven-year, $42MM offer. Many around the game considered the Puig signing to be a drastic overpay at the time, but the Dodgers clearly aren't complaining right now.
- The Twins are still planning to select as many as seven pitchers with their first 10 picks. Both Kohl Stewart and Ryan Eades, the Twins' two picks on day one of the draft, are right-handed pitchers. Eades is being advised by Scott Boras, Wolfson reports.
- Clete Thomas, who was recently promoted based on his strong Triple-A results and ability to play center field, had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract this week. Radcliff told Wolfson that the timing of his promotion was more coincidental than anything else, though. Their first option for a backup center fielder may have been Quintin Berry, whom the team was interested in. The Royals had priority due to their inferior record and claimed Berry.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders if George Brett is being groomed to be the Royals' next manager now that he has committed to being with the team every day as hitting coach. Dennis Gilbert, who represented Brett as an agent and who has fallen short in bids to purchase the Dodgers, Padres, and Rangers, would have installed Brett as manager had he landed one of those clubs. Brett could very well be Ned Yost’s eventual replacement if he boosts Kansas City's offense, but there’s also a lot of sentiment for Jim Fregosi, who has ties to GM Dayton Moore. Here's more from today's column..
- Cafardo spoke to a couple dozen executives, scouts, and players over the past few days about who the top player on the trade block will be and the consensus was Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. The Red Sox, Orioles, Indians, Angels, and Rangers would really like to have Lee and there are many more clubs who could be in the mix, including the Dodgers and the Yankees, who say they can’t swing it but have the means to do it. One American League exec indicated there would be 20 teams lined up for Lee. Lee might be the last guy Ruben Amaro Jr. wants to trade, but he'd yield the greatest return.
- The Phillies have another interesting piece in Jonathan Papelbon and if they decide they are retooling, they probably don’t need a top closer. Several baseball people say the Tigers would be a tremendous fit for Papelbon since pairing him with that starting rotation would be rather formidable. He would also be an option for the Angels and Red Sox, but the Sox want to give Andrew Bailey every chance to do the job. The Indians would also be a possibility.
- It shouldn’t be long before a long list of teams start to inquire about free agent Grady Sizemore. Sizemore has begun baseball activities after being sidelined by knee surgeries and so far he’s had no setbacks. Cafardo suggests the Mets could be a fit as they are in need of outfield help.
- The White Sox, Blue Jays, and Twins might hold some of this year's top trade chips. “Alex Rios, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and you can add Justin Morneau, are definitely the major guys scouts are focusing on,” said one AL GM.
- After Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stole five bases Thursday night against the Phillies, it started to dawn on people — including some in the Philadelphia organization — that Ellsbury would be a nice piece in the Phillies’ lineup next season. However, he also hurt his groin during the game, and the injury question popped up.
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