Grady Sizemore was once a 30/30 player when with the Cleveland Indians, and early in his career he was considered an iron man of the current era, racking up 382 consecutive games played.
Oh, how times have changed.
He has played just 104 games since the start of the 2010 season and not a single inning in the big leagues since 2011. Sizemore has had a back surgery and two micro-fracture surgeries, one on each knee, to go along with another knee surgery and an elbow surgery in his career.
Despite not playing in the big leagues the past two seasons, the Boston Red Sox signed him Wednesday to a big league contract. The base salary is about $760k with it maxing out around $6 million if all incentives are met.
If Sizemore is healthy and just flashes moments of his previous abilities the signing could be a steal, but it obviously comes with a ton of risk. The real question this signing raises is where will he play, and what does it mean for the team’s confidence in Jackie Bradley Jr.?
Bradley will likely be the opening day starting center fielder despite his struggles in the big leagues in 2013. There is no telling what kind of defense Sizemore can play in center after the knee surgeries, but he could allow the Red Sox to bring Bradley Jr. along slowly this season while Sizemore is still healthy.
If Sizemore is unable to to play center, there really won’t be much room for him in the lineup. Shane Victorino played Gold Glove defense in right field last year, and there is still the platoon of Daniel Nava and Johnny Gomes in left.