Grady Sizemore Rumors

Quick Hits: Burnett, Sizemore, Posey, Yankees

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).

Central Notes: Sizemore, Kendall, Reds, Votto

Here’s a look at some items out of the Central divisions..


Quick Hits: Red Sox, Sizemore, Padres, Chen

Links for Wednesday night as we await arbitration decisions from the National and American Leagues…

  • 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).


Heyman On Rangers, Phillies, Draft

The latest from Jon Heyman of SI.com (all links go to 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.

Quick Hits: Street, Garza, Red Sox, Sizemore

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.

Indians Re-Sign Grady Sizemore

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.

Sizemore

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.    

Sizemore ranked 26th on my top 50 free agents list.  With six of the 50 having signed so far, five of the 5,020 entrants in MLBTR's free agent prediction contest have four correct picks

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported Sizemore's likely return to the Indians on Friday, with SI's Jon Heyman declaring it official this morning.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


Quick Hits: Draft, Papelbon, Indians, D’Backs, Pirates

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.

East Notes: Ortiz, Braves, Soler, Sizemore, Yankees

The Red Sox traded Coco Crisp to the Royals for Ramon Ramirez three years ago today, and four years prior to that the Nationals traded Maicer Izturis and Juan Rivera to the Angels for Jose Guillen. Here's the latest from baseball's two East divisions…

  • Infielder Matt Antonelli will undergo a physical on Monday to finalize his major league deal with the Orioles, tweets Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.
  • Orioles GM Dan Duquette didn't sound terribly interested in signing a high-priced DH such as David Ortiz during an interview on WEEI (audio link, 9:00 mark).
  • If Liberty Media decided to sell the Braves, Mark Cuban wouldn't pursue the franchise, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  A recent AJC poll showed 95% of readers would like Cuban to buy the team but the eccentric owner told O'Brien that he would prefer to buy a team that is in need of a lot of help.  Liberty Media has the right to sell the team after the current CBA expires on December 11th, but there's no evidence that a sale is imminent.
  • The Marlins have already scouted Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The 19-year-old has been working out for teams in the Dominican Republic, and yesterday we heard that the Rangers have scouted him as well.
  • The Indians and Grady Sizemore are in "serious discussions" about a reunion, but the Phillies had interest in the outfielder according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Current GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and former GM Pat Gillick visited Sizemore in Arizona on the first day of free agency.
  • “The free agent guys haven’t made me any offers,” said Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Dan Martin of The New York Post. “The free agent [market] is moving at a glacial speed. And the category I’m shopping in, I don’t believe guys are jumping off the board this week. The players I’m interested in won’t be coming off the board anytime soon."

Indians “In Serious Discussions” With Grady Sizemore

11:49am: "We will continue to work through details with the Indians over the weekend," said Urbon to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). "During that time we will have no further comment.''

SATURDAY, 8:50am: Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says the one-year deal would include a low base salary and incentives that could push the total value to $9MM, the same amount as the option the Indians declined after the season. Hoynes also mentions that the two sides discussed a deal like this before the option decision was made.

FRIDAY, 8:52pm: "The Indians came at us with an aggressive offer,'' Sizemore's agent Joe Urbon tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. "Grady has always maintained that he would be interested in returning to Cleveland. We've exchanged proposals, but there's nothing more I can say at this point.''  Crasnick's ESPN colleague Buster Olney hears from a source that the deal "will be done" between the two sides (Twitter link).

8:11pm: Urbon confirmed to Rosenthal (Twitter link) that the negotiations with the Indians are taking place.  "Our efforts right now are to see if we can make that happen," Urbon said.

6:34pm: The Indians and Grady Sizemore are having "serious discussions" about a one-year contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  One of Rosenthal's sources says a deal is "very likely," while another source is only slightly less optimistic, pegging the chances of an agreement at "70-30."

Several teams have shown interest in Sizemore this winter but a source tells Rosenthal that Sizemore is "pulling back" from talks with other clubs in order to pursue this new deal with Cleveland.  Things could be finalized between the two sides by this weekend.

As Rosenthal noted in a follow-up tweet, the Tribe's medical personnel knows Sizemore best and with just a one-year contract, he could pursue a bigger deal next offseason.  There isn't much risk involved for the Indians — a healthy and in-form Sizemore helps the team contend in the AL Central or, if Cleveland falls out of the pennant race, Sizemore would be a sought-after commodity at the trade deadline even as a rental player.


Rockies Rumors: Trade Targets, Stewart, Sizemore

The latest on the Rockies from the Denver Post's Troy Renck:

  • The Rockies continue to search for starting pitching via trade, having met with a few teams already. They probably won't match the asking prices for John Danks or Wandy Rodriguez, but they could target arms such as Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Davis, if the Marlins and Rays are willing to deal.
  • The club plans to tender Ian Stewart a contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a Rockie in 2012. Multiple clubs have inquired on Stewart, and Colorado is listening.
  • Grady Sizemore won't work out for the Rockies, but the team hopes to get a better read on his health when he visits the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado.
  • The Rockies would have interest in LaTroy Hawkins if they opened up a spot for him by trading Huston Street.