The Boston Red Sox officially designated Grady Sizemore for assignment prior to outright releasing him on Wednesday. While it is a sad ending to a once promising career, the abrupt end to Sizemore’s 2014 season seems to be a bit of karma after the way he handled his offseason.
In case you haven’t heard the story, the Cincinnati Reds were the only team that seemed willing to take a chance on Sizemore during this past offseason. After missing the last three years due to injury, Sizemore was a risk signing to anyone willing to take a leap. The Reds progressed in talks with Sizemore and his agent to the point where general manager Walt Jocketty even hinted that the signing was all but signed on the dotted line.
“Some details have to be worked out,” Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We hope to get something done next week.”
Then Sizemore abruptly signed with the Red Sox much to the surprise of Jocketty and the rest of baseball. Not only did it catch the Reds off guard, but it seemed as though Sizemore used the Reds for leverage. While the terms of his offer from the Reds were not made public, it was assumed that Sizemore would receive a base salary of around $800,000 with an invite to spring training. After presumably using that as leverage, he ended up signing a major league deal with Boston for $750,000 base salary and options that could escalate to $6 million (but never will).
For the Reds, it probably was for the best that they ended up not signing Sizemore. Instead of fans clamoring for the former star when Billy Hamilton was slumping, the team was able to ride the storm with their young star and the growth has been phenomenal to watch.
It’s never enjoyable to see someone lose their job, so best wishes to Sizemore as he goes forward. Hopefully the happenings of last offseason will prove a lesson for him moving forward to ensure such a situation does not happen again.