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Grady Sizemore was an All-Star from 2006-2008. He was one of the most exciting, dynamic players in the game. He had speed, power and was a human highlight film roaming center field for the Indians. He dove into gaps denying the opposition of sure base hits and climbed walls denying home runs.
During Sizemore’s stellar seasons he averaged 26 home runs, 81 RBI, a .281 BA, 29 stolen bases and snagged Gold Glove awards.
And then in 2009…the injury bug hit.
Not so much a bug but a huge, tumbling avalanche of All-Star crushing demolition.
That year Sizemore endured left elbow and lower abdominal surgeries. The latter was to repair a hernia.
In 2010, he was sidelined due to micro-fracture surgery on his left knee for the rest of the season after playing only 33 games.
In 2011, he suffered a right knee contusion, came back, re-injured that same knee and was shelved for the rest of the year due to another sports hernia.
The Indians’ brain trust had a decision to make. Would they exercise Sizemore’s option for 2012 or would they let the beloved and still talented Sizemore walk?
They decided (understandably so) to decline the option on Sizemore and let him walk. There were plenty of suitors for Sizemore, but the Indians re-considered and in November signed him to a $5 million contract which could reach $9 million if Sizemore hits at-bat benchmarks.
I don’t think so.
Yes, Sizemore’s average numbers (.228 BA 9 HR 36 RBI 6 SB) in an average of 70 games played have plummeted from his sparkling 2006-2008 years. He has lost one of his biggest weapons—speed. His ability to track down everything in the outfield has also diminished and stolen bases are a thing of the past.
This move, however was low risk. For a one-year $5 million (maxed out at $9 million) the signing makes sense. No question there is a chance that Sizemore could spend more time on the disabled list in 2012, but I think we had to take this chance on a very talented player.
If Sizemore stays healthy and regains some of that All-Star magic, this move will prove to be a smart and beneficial one for the Tribe in 2012.
This grade is more for the impact he could make to the team more than the move itself.
Here’s hoping “Grady’s Ladies” will be giddy with excitement in watching Sizemore provide many highlights at Progressive Field in 2012.