The assumption has been that Grady Sizemore won’t be ready until sometime in mid-April, so it’s not much of a surprise to learn that the Indians have officially ruled him out for Opening Day.
Indians manager Manny Acta made the announcement earlier tonight, saying there’s just “not enough time to get him ready” for the start of the season.
On a more important note, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Sizemore tested his surgically-repaired knee by sliding earlier today. According to the Associated Press, he repeated the drill four times.
Today’s activity was a final hurdle of sorts for Sizemore, who is scheduled to get two at-bats as the designated hitter Sunday against the Diamondbacks. It will be his first taste of live game action since he injured his knee last May.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.