Cleveland Indians: 5 Reasons They Need to Cut Ties with Grady Sizemore

jim beamContributor IIIOctober 18, 2011

Cleveland Indians: 5 Reasons They Need to Cut Ties with Grady Sizemore

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    The Cleveland Indians have a big decision to make regarding center fielder Grady Sizemore.

    The former All-Star and Gold Glover could be on his way out of Cleveland after injuries have leveled a career once seemed destined for greatness.

    Here are five reasons why the Cleveland Indians should cut ties with Sizemore.

Injuries

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    Sizemore's health is the main reason his career is now at a crossroads in Cleveland.

    Sizemore has missed 277 games in the last three seasons; he missed only nine games during his first four complete seasons with the Indians.

    Most recently, he had arthroscopic surgery performed on his right knee, the fourth surgery he has had in two years.

Declining Play

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    Sizemore's play has naturally been spiraling downward as the injuries have continued to mount.

    His numbers have declined in almost every statistical category since 2008, including his fielding percentage, which reached a career low of .984 in 2011.

    He hit at least 22 home runs in each of his first four full years with the Indians. Unfortunately, Sizemore has not had a 20 home run season since 2008.

    The '08 season was also the last time his batting average was higher than .250.

Contract

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    The Indians have an $8.5 million option for Sizemore in 2012.

    Obviously that is not cheap for a fickle, small-market team like the Indians; especially for someone whose future is as clouded as Sizemore's.

Free Agents

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    Instead of bringing Sizemore back for $8.5 million, the Indians could probably find a cheaper, and perhaps safer, alternative in the free-agent market.

    One such player could be Coco Crisp, who hits free agency after a productive year with the Oakland Athletics.

Outfield Options

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    If Sizemore does not come back, the Indians outfield could consist of Shin-Soo Choo in right field, Ezequiel Carrera in center and Michael Brantley in left.

    Carrera is expected to become an excellent defensive presence in the outfield, and while he lacks the type of power Sizemore has, he did have a decent rookie campaign by hitting .243.

    They could also move Brantley, who can play anywhere in the outfield, to center and shift Carrera to left field.