When the Indians shut down Grady Sizemore for the final week of the season they described the move as precautionary, but yesterday the oft-injured center fielder underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery in Colorado.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes that the surgery was Sizemore’s fifth in the past three years, but says the good news is that it wasn’t the dreaded microfracture operation that Sizemore had on his left knee last year.
Sizemore will have plenty of time to get healthy by spring training, but he may not be reporting to camp with the Indians. Cleveland holds an $8.5 million option or $500,000 buyout on Sizemore for 2012 and general manager Chris Antonetti declined to share any insight when asked about the odds of exercising it.
Once upon a time that option seemed like a no-brainer pickup, but Sizemore has missed 56, 129, and 91 games in the past three seasons and has hit just .220 with a .280 on-base percentage and .379 slugging percentage since the beginning of 2010. Cleveland must decide on the option within three days after the World Series ends, so Sizemore won’t be recovered from this latest surgery when the $8 million choice is made.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.