Is Grady Sizemore Too Much Of An Injury Risk For The Giants?
By Bryan Rose
Three days after the World Series concludes, the Cleveland Indians are going to find themselves in quite a dilemma – exercise Grady Sizemore‘s hefty $9 million dollar option or let him walk, free of any compensation. No draft picks, no anything. Not really a situation a GM would find envious.
Many “insiders” feel the Tribe will have to part ways with Grady, despite the early July returns in which most believed the Indians would bring back Sizemore for the 2012 season. But after another injury filled, sub-par campaign, it appears the tides have turned and while the Indians would love to have Sizemore return for ’12 and beyond, the only way of that happening will be declining his option and re-signing him for a far lesser salary – at least, that’s the scenario in their eyes.
If (and it’s still an if) Sizemore’s option is declined, you figure the Giants would be towards the top of Sizemore’s wish list. A competitive team and a starting gig – I doubt more than a very small handful of teams could present the same benefits for the oft-injured but talented center fielder.
So now we know about Sizemore’s situation – what about the Giants? What would they be getting themselves into? Well, depending on who you ask…you’re going to find a variety of answers.
First, let’s look at the positives. Grady Sizemore, when healthy, is a beast of a player. A beast. Even when he’s not healthy, the guy can contribute. He struggled down the stretch this past season, but even on two bad knees, 53% of Sizemore’s hits were of the extra bases variety. The guy plays balls out to the wall – think Aaron Rowand type effort. Actually, don’t think of Aaron Rowand – just think of fancy effort (Sorry – didn’t mean to infiltrate you with Rowand-ness). And think of a player who, again, when healthy, is very much a 30-30 candidate with Gold Glove type defense in the outfield (that is when he’s not taking naked pictures of himself). Pretty impressive stuff…uh, the stats I mean. Not the pictures. Well, actually, well nevermind.
But now let’s look at the negatives, the most obvious being? Five operations in three years. Yikes. Double yikes. On the plus side, the surgeries weren’t all on the same area/body part but, let’s just say the left side of Sizemore’s body could use a bionic replacement (left elbow, left groin, left knee, left groin, right knee). Those operations have limited Grady considerably as he’s only been able to take the field for 210 games in the past three seasons and in the past two, he’s struggled mightily all around.
At 29 years of age, a player of Sizemore’s capability doesn’t come around that often – especially at what many would consider a “discount price”, but, as we’re all aware – his price tag is lower for a reason. When healthy, Sizemore is an All-Star talent but it’s been a few years since he’s shown any sign of returning to form for an extended period.
Do you make the move if you’re Sabean and company, assuming the contract is manageable? Do you go with Coco Crisp? Or do you look for in-house options, which will vary depending on the return of Beltran. Simply put, is Grady Sizemore worth the risk for the Giants, overall?