It was reported today that the Colorado Rockies will watch Grady Sizemore workout. This workout could lead to the possibility of the Rockies signing Sizemore to a one-year deal.
Let’s get this out of the way: I am almost always for getting a guy on the rebound. Insert joke here about me chasing girls on the rebound in my younger – SINGLE – days.
A guy like Jose Lopez or Ty Wigginton last year were not rebounds; they were guys who were what everyone thought they were – crap. Guys with track records that told the entire story. They were not hurt, not trying to recapture what once was; they simply were below average (in Lopez’s case one of the worst everyday players in all of baseball) and Dan O’Dowd was hoping that for some unknown reason they would turn their careers around in Denver. That didn’t happen.
Sizemore is a different case. Javier Vazquez, a guy I said the Rockies should chase last year, was a different case.
Vazquez is a guy who ate innings and struck out a lot of batters. Coming off a poor season I thought the Rockies should chase.
Sizemore was once considered to be the face of baseball for years to come. And then injuries started to roll in.
In both of these cases I am (was) all for the Rockies getting them cheap and stuffing their contract with performance based bonuses. In Sizemore’s case the Rockies should load the contract with incentives for games played, plate appearances and statistical achievements. Should Sizemore get hurt he most likely wouldn’t hit a lot of these targets and the Rockies wouldn’t be out a lot of money.
Is Sizemore worth the risk?
From 2005-2008 Sizemore played in at least 157 games a season with at least 700 plate appearances in each of those seasons. He defined an everyday player.
As the leadoff man for the Cleveland Indians he hit 20 or more home runs each of those seasons and peaked with 33 jacks in 2008. To add to the power, from a center fielder, he also stole 20 or more bases in each of those seasons and nearly stole 40 (38 to be exact) in 2008. Add in 53 doubles in 2006 and an .850+ OPS in ’06 – ’08 all from a kid who turned 25 in 2008 and it was expected that the Indians would have a 40/40 center fielder for years to come.
Players usually have their peak seasons from age 27 through age 31 and if Sizemore was already a 30/30 guy at 25 he could easily be projected to hit 40 bombs and swipe 40 bags in the coming years.
Oh, and he also crashed walls, made diving grabs and by most accounts played a very good defensive center field. The kid was worth seven wins above an average player in 2006 according to baseball-reference.com! A star was in the making.
In 2009 Sizemore only played in 106 games and that number dropped all the way to 33 in 2010. Last year Sizemore only appeared in 71 contests and only stepped to the dish 295 times. From ’09- ’11 Sizemore averaged 70 games a year and about 310 plate appearances a year…essentially about half of the field time he saw from ’06 – ’08 per year.
In ’09 Sizemore elected to have surgery on his left elbow which had been bothering him all season (and caused him to miss 20 games in July). A few weeks later he had sports hernia surgery.
In ’10 he had surgery on his left knee early in the year and missed a majority of the season.
After returning from surgery in April of ’11 Sizemore landed back on the DL in May with a contusion to his right knee after sliding into second base. Then in July he hurt his right knee again and shortly after had his second sports hernia surgery which put him on the bench until September 5th.
The Indians have seen enough of Sizemore and his surgeries and did not offer him a contract making him a free agent this offseason.
To sum up he had surgery on his left elbow, two sports hernia surgeries, a micro-fracture of his left knee, a contusion on his right knee and a slight bump and bruise on his right knee. In other words it hasn’t been one body part causing all of this trouble but rather a rash of injuries to various body parts.
Sizemore is still only 29 (turns 30 in August of next season) and worth a risk for the Rockies. The hope is that he would play left field for the Rockies and if he is anything near the defensive fielder he was with the Indians the Rockies would clearly have the best fielding outfield in all of baseball with Dexter Fowler in center, Carlos Gonzalez in right and Sizemore in left.
This is one signing I would fully support by O’Dowd.