Grady Sizemore on knee injury: “There’s a lot of concern”

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Grady Sizemore was placed on the disabled list this morning after re-injuring his right knee yesterday and the Indians center fielder told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that “there’s a lot of concern” about his status.

Sizemore missed just two weeks after bruising the same knee back in May, but indicated that he thinks this injury is more significant and reminds him of the injury to his other knee that required microfracture surgery last year:

I just hope I don’t have to go through what I went through last year. It’s similar. It’s hard to say whether it’s the same. It’s definitely a concern. It’s the same area. Similar symptoms. It does feel a lot like it, but I can’t say for sure.

The initial injury, seems to be a slower progression. Even when I first injured [the left knee in 2010], I didn’t feel it right away. Then when I reinjured it, it was pretty much instant. The right knee was similar. In May, it took me a while to realize it was hurt. Sunday it was instant.

Cleveland will know more once Sizemore undergoes further testing today, but in the meantime it certainly doesn’t sound good.

Rather than shift Michael Brantley from left field to center field like he did last time Sizemore went down manager Manny Acta said that he’ll keep Brantley in left field and give rookie Ezequiel Carrera a shot as the primary center fielder. Shin-Soo Choo is also on the DL with a broken thumb, so the Indians are probably in the market for some outfield help as they cling to first place in the AL Central.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.