Grady Sizemore, who spent part of May on the disabled list with a right knee contusion, re-injured the same knee yesterday and has been placed back on the DL.
The good news is that it was Sizemore’s left knee that caused him to miss most of last season and the beginning of this year following microfracture surgery, and the Indians are calling his current right knee injury merely a bruise. However, he left the team and traveled back to Cleveland to undergo further tests.
Sizemore has played pretty well in between the injuries, posting a .769 OPS that ranks 10th among all MLB center fielders with at least 50 games, but his .237 batting average and ugly 75/17 K/BB ratio are worrisome and at some point all the knee problems may put in question his ability to remain in center field defensively.
Michael Brantley filled in for Sizemore last time and will do so again now, sliding from left field to center field, but with right fielder Shin-Soo Choo also on the DL with a broken thumb the Indians may be forced to make regulars out of Ezequiel Carrera and Travis Buck or Austin Kearns.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.