No, this is not an April Fools joke, and yes, we are indeed in 2014. You read the title correctly, if you play fantasy baseball, you need to stop what you’re doing and check your free agency pool. If Grady Sizemore‘s name pops up as an available free agent, snatch him up and don’t think twice about it. Sizemore played in his first game in nearly three years when he started for the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day, and he looked great, going 2-4 at the plate with a single and a home run.
The question surrounding Sizemore has always been whether or not he can stay healthy for a full season; obviously we aren’t going to know the answer to that question until the end of the season (or if he gets hurt between now and October), but frankly, if I’m a fantasy baseball owner and this guy is in my league’s free agent pool, I couldn’t care less about his injury risk. As a free agent, he’s only going to cost you your least valuable asset to acquire his services, and if he gets hurt a month from now, you just drop him and move on to the next guy. If Sizemore does stay healthy, then he has a very large shot (in fact he’s probably the early favorite) at winning the American League Comeback Player of the Year award.
Regardless of future health, as of now, Sizemore is healthy. He is the Red Sox’s every day centerfielder, he’s going to be batting in the middle of a very deep lineup, and he needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues. In his last full season (all the way back in 2008), Sizemore clubbed 33 home runs and stole 38 bases, and that was the fourth season in a row in which he hit at least 22 home runs and stole at least 22 bases. At 31 years old and off of two and a half seasons of rest, Sizemore should be determined to prove himself — he had a very impressive spring that earned him a roster spot over Jackie Bradley Jr. — and he should be the healthiest he’s been in a very long time. Sizemore offers a combination of power and speed that isn’t normally available on free agency, and taking a small gamble on him could pay off big time for savvy owners.