Age 28 Season
2011 Salary: $7.5M
Service Time (est): 6.056
2012 Contract Status: Team Option ($8.5M, $500K Buyout)
Options Remaining: N/A
How Acquired: Trade (Montreal, 6-27-02)
If Opening Day was tomorrow (assuming he's healthy): Starting center fielder, under restructured contract.
3-30-2011: Placed on 15-Day Disabled List (left knee surgery)
4-17-2011: Reinstated from 15-Day Disabled List
5-16-2011: Placed on 15-Day Disabled List (right knee bruise, retroactive to 5-11)
5-27-2011: Reinstated from 15-Day Disabled List
7-19-2011: Placed on 15-Day Disabled List (right knee)
9-5-2011: Reinstated from Disabled List
A promising career has often been curtailed or ended by injuries. Eric Davis had Hall of Fame talent, but just couldn't stay on the field for an entire season. Albert Belle was on his way to a Hall of Fame career (assuming the writers would hold their noses and vote for him) before a degenerative hip injury quickly ended it after only 12 seasons. Health is as important as talent for a major-league player, as without the former, having the latter doesn't really matter.
2011 was Grady Sizemore's second straight lost season, and it's now been three seasons since he was truly healthy. He started the season on the Disabled List, still recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, but when he came off the DL, he seemed, at least at the plate, as good as ever, collecting 12 extra-base hits in his first 11 games of the season. But he ran into more injury problems, and seemed to derail what looked like a comeback season. He went on the DL with an injury to his right knee, and that injury lingered the rest of the season. He missed another two months starting in July, and used the time to correct another injury (a sports hernia). He returned to the lineup briefly in September, and was shut down with a week to go in the season.
Sizemore ended the season with .224/.285/.422 (95 OPS+), but his playing time was so fragmented and fleeting that it's difficult to make any conclusions on how well he played. Most of the production early in the season, although he had a hot stretch just before he went on the DL in July. He still looked decent in center field when he was able to play, but looked worse at the plate as the season progressed.
Grady will visit Dr. Richard Steadman in Colorado today for an evaluation of his right knee, and the results of that visit will go a long way in determining whether the Indians pick up the $9M 2012 Team Option on Sizemore's contract.
"That will give us an opportunity to get some further clarity on that," Antonetti said. "Once we have more information, we can factor that in and weight it as part of the decision."
If Sizemore's knee is pronounced healthy, then there's a chance the Indians pick up the option. If the news is not definitively good (ie, no surgery is necessary, but some rehab is needed), then the Indians would either decline the option altogether or perhaps attempt to restructure the contract. I think there's reasons for both sides to restructure the deal, as the Indians don't really have an everyday center fielder on their roster, and Sizemore wouldn't be getting any long-term deals on the open market.
|2000||17||WSN-min||Rk||55||236||205||31||60||8||3||1||14||16||2||23||24||.293||.380||.376||.756||JUE · GULF|
|2001||18||WSN-min||A||123||541||451||64||121||16||4||2||61||32||11||81||92||.268||.381||.335||.716||CLI · MIDW|
|2002||19||WSN-CLE-min||A+||122||503||428||68||125||24||7||3||46||23||16||69||71||.292||.392||.402||.794||BRE,KIN · FLOR,CARL|
|2003||20||CLE-min||AA||128||559||496||96||151||26||11||13||78||10||9||46||73||.304||.373||.480||.853||AKR · EL|
|2004||21||CLE-min||AAA||101||473||418||73||120||23||8||8||51||15||10||42||72||.287||.360||.438||.798||BFL · IL|
|2011||28||CLE-min||AA,AAA||8||32||28||2||10||3||0||1||5||0||0||4||5||.357||.438||.571||1.009||AKR,CLB · EL,IL|
|162 Game Avg.||162||735||641||109||172||39||8||25||83||24||8||78||148||.269||.357||.473||.830||120|