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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Kilgore: Grady Sizemore ‘not limiting his choices’ in free agency

After the Cleveland Indians declined to exercise their 2012 option on him this weekend, free agent center fielder Grady Sizemore has received interest from several teams and is willing to play anywhere, his agent Joe Urbon said.

“He’s open to anything,” said Urbon, who is part of CAA Sports. “He’s not limiting his choices at all.”

...In choosing his next team, Sizemore wants a place he can prove himself again. He would prefer center field – the Nationals’ greatest area of need – but would play a corner position if that provided the best chance to play.

“He wants to have an opportunity that will allow him to show he’s still the elite player he’s been,” Urbon said. “In a perfect world, he’d love to play center field. You can’t ignore the fact that’s where he won two Gold Gloves, where he’s been a three-time all star. When healthy, he’s one of the best players in the game. But if he feels the best opportunity is for him play in a corner spot, then he has the ability to do that.”

...Sizemore’s situation has little precedent – a player becoming one of the game’s best by his mid-20s before suffering injuries and becoming a free agent before age 30. The risk in signing him would be significant, but so would the upside.

Thanks to TR.

Repoz Posted: November 03, 2011 at 10:27 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, indians, nationals

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   1. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: November 03, 2011 at 11:10 AM (#3985587)
Everytime I read or hear about Grady Sizemore, I think about everything that's wrong with the MLB. The trade that sent him (28 WAR as an Indian) to Cleveland along with Cliff Lee (16,7 WAR as an Indian), Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens for 17 starts of Bartolo Colon (2,3 WAR as an Expo) did not kill the Expos but sure made the organization a lot weaker. I've always wondered if that trade would have happened had the team had a sound ownership.

That said, Sizemore could represent a nice gamble.
   2. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: November 03, 2011 at 11:53 AM (#3985596)
The last three years tell you to say no if you're the Nationals. He's not a top of the order .380 oba centerfielder anymore, his upside is about an average #6 hitter in RF.
   3. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: November 03, 2011 at 12:08 PM (#3985605)
And even then, he's stretched as a right fielder. He's got an absolutely awful throwing arm. So if you don't want to stick a noodlearm in RF, he becomes either an injury-prone CF who doesn't really have the wheels for center or an injury-prone LF who's hit .234/.314/.413 since '09. Not much call for left fielders who on-base .314 and get hurt all the time.

Grady's one of my favorite ballplayers ever. Before the knee problems he was a magnificent player - hit for average, hit for power (92 XBH one year!), drew walks, stole 25-30 bases a year at a crazy success rate, played good if slightly overrated defense. He was amazing. It pains me to say this, but I think that player's gone forever.

Someone's going to give him a chance, as well they should. If his knees are right, he's got real upside. If his knees aren't right, he's Travis Buck. I wouldn't want to count on a guy who's probably Travis Buck.
   4. Belfry Bob Posted: November 03, 2011 at 12:27 PM (#3985618)
Nick Johnson.

I like the risk of a Sizemore, but boy that contract's got to be incentive-filled, that's for sure.
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 03, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3985627)
I wouldn't be at all surprised if he ends up with his hometown team, Seattle.
   6. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 03, 2011 at 12:44 PM (#3985628)
@1: I doubt Omar makes that kind of offer without the threat of contraction. Think of the 06 Mets. They badly needed a starter and Barry Zito was available for Lastings Milledge. Omar wouldn't do it. He also won the Johan deal, and managed not to give up F-Mart.

@3: Purely intuition, but I love the fit of Sizemore in DC. He strikes me as a Comeback Player of the Year waiting to happen.

(sorry for brevity/grammar: written on mobile.)
   7. The Pequod Posted: November 03, 2011 at 12:59 PM (#3985632)
I'm sad to see him go, but declining the option was a no-brainer, unfortunately.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the White Sox or Marlins go hard after him. Kenny and Ozzie have always raved about him and they seem to have a sentimental streak.
   8. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 03, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3985658)
what is it about Cleveland and peaking in your early 20s
   9. AROM Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3985660)
Purely intuition, but I love the fit of Sizemore in DC. He strikes me as a Comeback Player of the Year waiting to happen.


It would be fitting, especially if in a year they can sign Brandon Phillips, and then after Philly implodes and decides to rebuild they trade prospects for Cliff Lee.

Then again, a world where Lee, Sizemore, and Phillips came up with the Nationals would probably not be a world where they were bad enough to get Harper and Strasburg in the draft.
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3985661)
what is it about Cleveland and peaking in your early 20s

Awww. I was hoping for a Super Joe Charboneau shout out.
   11. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3985666)
what is it about Cleveland and peaking in your early 20s
Baerga himself admits to having made some off-field choices that negatively affected him as a ballplayer. He denied drug use at the time, but that rumor was all over the place circa '95-'96. I have no idea whether those rumors are/were true, but they were widely believed.

I mean, the rumors about Chris Truby and satanic dismemberment turned out to be false. I think. Or maybe he just hasn't been caught yet.
   12. Greg K Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#3985671)
Awww. I was hoping for a Super Joe Charboneau shout out.

I assumed it was a Hal Trosky/Herb Score reference.
   13. fra paolo Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3985674)
....Bartolo Colon (2,3 WAR as an Expo)...I've always wondered if that trade would have happened had the team had a sound ownership.

The Colon-for-'Three Franchise Players' deal remains controversial, but everybody forgets what happened to Colon afterwards, which is the real question-mark over the 'sound ownership' issue.

The Expos were 7 games out of first in the NL East the day before the trade was announced, but even more interestingly had two teams ahead of them in the Wild Card race, San Francisco and Arizona. (The Dodgers were at that point leading the NL West). They were five games behind Wild-Card leading Arizona. At best they had a fringe shot at making the playoffs.

Baseball America, in its pre-season rankings had Phillips at #1, Sizemore at #3 and Lee at #11. By the time of the trade, the rankings would have seen Sizemore's stock fall, Lee's at best staying the same and Phillips' living up to potential. Cliff Lee as one of the best-paid pitchers in baseball was fairly unimaginable at that point. He looked like a gopher-baller with some strikeout potential, a lefty Tony Armas. Sizemore had a .699 OPS at Brevard County in the A+ Florida State League (league average .696). A league-average OPS centrefielder at high A is not obviously a future franchise player. Phillips was the player living up to his reputation at that point, with an .883 OPS in AA at Harrisburg (league .733).

In terms of the trade, Colon was sent to the Expos for one good bet, and two risky ones, plus the last year of Lee Stevens. Colon was then traded in the off-season for Rocky Biddle, Orlando Hernandez and Jeff Liefer. Orlando got hurt, so they did a nice deal to get Livan Hernandez from the Giants (Jim Brower plus PTBNL).

Now imagine the Miracle Expos had made the playoffs in 2002. Wait, you're talking about a team that had been designated for contraction making the playoffs. I do not believe there was any way short of a real miracle, thanks perhaps to prayers to then-Blessed Brother André, that the Expos would have been allowed to make the playoffs.

One is left to two interpretations. Either Minaya did not believe that the Expos would not be allowed to make the playoffs, or Minaya purposefully did sweetheart deals to improve his chances at future jobs in MLB. So Minaya is either stupid or ambitious. Either explanation could probably be supported by the evidence from his Mets' years.

In conclusion, it's possible that sound ownership of a gambling mentality, might have still taken the bet. The question is whether Minaya at that point knew he wouldn't be allowed September call-ups. In the absence of knowing 'what did Minaya know and when did he know it', all we can say is that sound ownership might indeed have made the bet, but they might not have traded Colon in 2003. In which case, they would not have had Orlando Hernandez, a deal that ended up bringing the Livan!, who was a better pitcher that season than Colon.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3985685)
I do not believe there was any way short of a real miracle, thanks perhaps to prayers to then-Blessed Brother André, that the Expos would have been allowed to make the playoffs.


Allowed? You think MLB would have ordered Omar to start dumping players in September? That the manager had to start playing Single A callups. The stink from that would have been far worse than a contraction-target club getting ousted in the first round of the division series.
   15. fra paolo Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3985693)
Allowed? You think MLB would have ordered Omar to start dumping players in September? That the manager had to start playing Single A callups. The stink from that would have been far worse than a contraction-target club getting ousted in the first round of the division series.

There are many ways to manipulate games that are not particularly visible. We're not talking about a 100-win team here. At best they would have scraped into the playoffs like the 2011 Rays.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 03, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3985700)
Allowed? You think MLB would have ordered Omar to start dumping players in September? That the manager had to start playing Single A callups.

Speaking of which, Omar was ordered not to make any September callups.
   17. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 03, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#3985831)
Now imagine the Miracle Expos had made the playoffs in 2002. Wait, you're talking about a team that had been designated for contraction making the playoffs. I do not believe there was any way short of a real miracle, thanks perhaps to prayers to then-Blessed Brother André, that the Expos would have been allowed to make the playoffs.

One is left to two interpretations. Either Minaya did not believe that the Expos would not be allowed to make the playoffs, or Minaya purposefully did sweetheart deals to improve his chances at future jobs in MLB. So Minaya is either stupid or ambitious. Either explanation could probably be supported by the evidence from his Mets' years.

In conclusion, it's possible that sound ownership of a gambling mentality, might have still taken the bet. The question is whether Minaya at that point knew he wouldn't be allowed September call-ups. In the absence of knowing 'what did Minaya know and when did he know it', all we can say is that sound ownership might indeed have made the bet, but they might not have traded Colon in 2003. In which case, they would not have had Orlando Hernandez, a deal that ended up bringing the Livan!, who was a better pitcher that season than Colon.


Ooh! Can this be a conspiracy theory thread?! The JFK thread was pretty great. The only one I buy is Kurt Cobain-Courtney Love.
   18. rlc Posted: November 03, 2011 at 05:28 PM (#3985868)
The JFK thread was pretty great. The only one I buy is Kurt Cobain-Courtney Love.


Are you saying they assasinated JFK? And then had their birth certificates falsified to claim they hadn't been born yet? That's too good to be false.
   19. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 03, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#3985874)
Remember how in 2005 it was en vogue to praise the Indians' approach to locking up its young talent sooner rather than later? I like the idea in theory, but Hafner and Sizemore have both showed the high risk that approach entails.

Somewhat related: I was taking a Sporcle quiz last night of the "iron men" in baseball over the last 30 years and was surprised to see Sizemore's name crop up. He's played so little the last several years that I'm quick to forget he actually went an entire season without missing a game.
   20. ColonelTom Posted: November 03, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3985880)
He'd fit the Phillies well - assuming RAJ is on the up-and-up about Brown (still in their plans, but needs a year at AAA), they'll want to sign a lefty-hitting LF with upside on a one-year deal. Sizemore, like David DeJesus, will probably end up on a one-year deal with significant playing-time incentives, trying to position himself for a big contract next offseason. I'd be surprised if the Phils don't make one or both of those guys an offer quickly.
   21. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 03, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3985882)
All that said, I wouldn't mind seeing the Cubs dangle an incentive-laden contract in front of Grady. With Fukudome gone, the Cubs have who, Tyler Colvin as the guy expected to get starts in right field? Sign Grady and then Colvin can get regular playing time when Sizemore is on the DL with an amputated knee by mid-May.
   22. cmd600 Posted: November 03, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#3985896)
He looked like a gopher-baller with some strikeout potential, a lefty Tony Armas. Sizemore had a .699 OPS at Brevard County in the A+ Florida State League (league average .696). A league-average OPS centrefielder at high A is not obviously a future franchise player.


This is a pretty unfair evaluation, even without the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. Lee was striking out 11 per 9. That's not "some strikeout potential". He was very deservingly considered the #30 prospect by BA after the 2002 season. And Sizemore was an above-average player at 19 - about 4 years younger than the average player in his league. The other 19 year olds he played against? Miguel Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Anderson Hernandez.
   23. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 03, 2011 at 07:15 PM (#3985959)
Are you saying they assasinated JFK? And then had their birth certificates falsified to claim they hadn't been born yet? That's too good to be false.


Obama taught 'em how.
   24. Comic Strip Person Posted: November 03, 2011 at 07:43 PM (#3985981)
So, how big a factor will the local hospitals be in Grady's decision making process? I mean, the Cleveland Clinic is a tough place to say goodbye to.
   25. Karl from NY Posted: November 03, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#3986055)
Not much call for left fielders who on-base .314 and get hurt all the time.

The Mets should be calling any minute now.
   26. TerpNats Posted: November 03, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#3986060)
So, how big a factor will the local hospitals be in Grady's decision making process? I mean, the Cleveland Clinic is a tough place to say goodbye to.
GW and Georgetown University hospitals say hello, not to mention NIH. And Grady can always ride up the B-W Parkway to Johns Hopkins Hospital without having to actually play for Cuban Pete.
   27. LionoftheSenate (Pirates v A's World Series) Posted: November 03, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#3986066)
He's not a top of the order .380 oba centerfielder anymore, his upside is about an average #6 hitter in RF.


Sounds like what the Brewers need. Corey Hart needs to learn 1b.
   28. LionoftheSenate (Pirates v A's World Series) Posted: November 03, 2011 at 10:12 PM (#3986067)
He looked like a gopher-baller with some strikeout potential


You mean the #'s said. What he "looked like" ask the scouts. #22 already points out the #'s said Lee was more than a gopher ball pitcher anyway.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: November 04, 2011 at 07:38 AM (#3986305)
I like the idea in theory, but Hafner and Sizemore have both showed the high risk that approach entails.

The Hafner buyout was fine -- 3 years, $7 M with a $4.75 option for 2008. The Hafner 4/$57 extension, signed mid-2007, was not so much. It was extra odd because he wasn't having a particularly good season in 2007 so what was the rush? Still not really a disastrous disaster -- 7 WAR for $48 M is not good but it's not Jason Bay bad. At least Hafner still hits when healthy.

And thanks to his monster 2008, Sizemore's deal officially worked out -- 7.6 WAR for $21 M in the expensive years.

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