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.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.