CHRIS PUMMER: The Cleveland Indians look like they’re poised to go for it in 2012, especially after trading for Ubaldo Jimenez last summer. That all-in spirit probably means picking up Grady Sizemore’s option for next season to see if the diminished star can return with some of his former luster.
Sizemore has suffered through three straight injury-plagued seasons, playing just over 200 games since the start of 2009. Because of that history of woeful healthy, the outfielder might not seem like a great option for a team looking to make the postseason for the first time since 2007.
The option they Indians have on Sizemore — $8.5 million or a $500,000 buyout — is pretty reasonable. Cleveland needs help in the outfield, and any player on the free agent market likely to perform better than Grady is likely to command more either in dollars or years. Any player who matches Sizemore’s upside available for less would likely be coming with the same risks.
That being the case, the Indians might want to make a deal with the devil they know.
It may well be the case they, as in Cleveland’s training staff, know enough to believe Sizemore is too big a risk to pony up $8 million. The Indians should be more informed of that than those of us speculating on their potential moves.
Still, all things being equal, picking up Sizemore’s option is probably a move the Tribe makes if the mandate is to win now.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Here’s what would concern me about Grady Sizemore. Not so much the injuries. Rather, the way he played when he was on the field.
In 435 plate appearances in 2010-2011, Sizemore has an OPS of .659. He’s completely stopped walking. He’s not clearly able to handle center field anymore. He’s a good pickup for a team looking to get lucky in a few spots, and at less money than $8 million ($8.5, but his buyout is $500K). But is he a good bet for a team better served by a surer thing in center field?
Put it this way: David DeJesus won’t cost $8 million, and he put up a better OPS in 2010-2011 in more games than Sizemore. Same with Cody Ross, Coco Crisp. Angel Pagan could be non-tendered, and he bested Sizemore as well.
If the Indians think Sizemore is likely to regain his former glory, by all means, bring him back. If he is merely a lottery ticket, and the team is looking to win in 2012, there are better basic bets.