Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds, along with a few other teams, are involved in talks with former Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore about a possible comeback attempt. While there are still other teams involved, it appears the Reds are the clear favorites at this point, especially since Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said the team “would like to get something done next week.” If the Reds do sign Sizemore, would he be able to help their chances at winning the NL Central Division?
Sizemore, 31, is a career .269/.357/.473 hitter with a 120 wRC+. Perhaps even more valuable than his offense, however, is his defense and base-running. Because of his speed, Sizemore has always been a very good defensive center fielder, able to track balls down in the gaps and make great plays to help his pitchers.
The obvious problem with Sizemore, however, is his injury history. The former All-Star hasn’t played an inning of baseball at the MLB level since 2011. His biggest issues have been his knees, having microfracture surgery on both.
At this time last year, the Reds wouldn’t have even thought about signing Sizemore, but with on-base machine Shin-Soo Choo gone, the Reds need to get some depth in case top prospect Billy Hamilton doesn’t work out as well as they hope he will. Hamilton clearly has the speed to be a dangerous weapon, but he has yet to prove that he can do it in an everyday role in the majors, instead of just coming off the bench as a pinch-runner. He was able to set records on the bases in the minor leagues, but it’s much more difficult in the majors.
Sizemore’s last decent season came in 2009 with the Indians, followed by two mediocre seasons in 2010 and 2011. If the Reds believe Sizemore can provide at least some of the production both offensively and defensively that he could in 2009, then it would be worth adding him on a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.