Grady Sizemore is Cleveland Indians’ Money Pit

By Tom Froemming

Grady Sizemore and the Cleveland Indians have had a lose-lose relationship over the past three seasons.

The Indians have committed over $18 million dollars to Sizemore over that span, but the 29-year-old has managed to give them just 104 games.

It’s hard to feel bad for a multi-millionaire professional athlete, but Sizemore wants to be on the field, earning that contract. Once one of the more dynamic power-speed players in the game, Sizemore seemed destined to lead Cleveland back to prominence a few years ago.

Instead, Grady continues to watch from the sidelines. Instead, the Indians have looked like a team one superstar short of a serious title run.

Sizemore isn’t even close to returning to game action, as he hasn’t even been cleared by the team to run the bases. Sizemore has had six operations since 2009, and is currently rehabbing both his back and right knee

Sizemore signed a one-year $5 million contract with the Indians this offseason, making him their third-highest paid player behind Derek Lowe and Travis Hafner. Cleveland ranks in the bottom third in payroll, coming in under $80 million, so they cannot afford for financial risks to not pan out.

The Indians are 27-23, just 1.5 games back of the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. Michael Brantley has been solid in taking over center field duties, but hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. The 25-year-old is hitting .273 with a .684 OPS, but does have a team-leading nine stolen bases and 15 doubles.

Sizemore is a former three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glover and also has a Silver Slugger to his credit. From 2005-08, Sizemore averaged 26 home runs and 28 stolen bases per season. Despite the impressive track record, you have to wonder if there will even be a roster spot available if Sizemore ever gets himself back into game shape.

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