UPDATE II: According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, a deal between the Indians and Sizemore will get done.
UPDATE: Sizemore’s agent, Joe Urbon, confirmed to Rosenthal that serious discussions with the Indians are taking place. The 29-year-old could make up his mind as soon as this weekend.
7:42 PM: Sources tell FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal than the Indians and Grady Sizemore are involved in serious talks and will likely agree to a one-year deal.
It’s something of a surprise, given that the team declined Sizemore’s $9 million option for 2012 earlier this month.
The 29-year-old Sizemore, formerly one of the AL’s very best players, has missed much of the last two seasons due to knee problems. He hit .224/.285/.422 with 10 homers in 71 games last season.
Sizemore was only interested in a one-year deal this winter, as he hopes to rebuild his value and land a much bigger contract next winter. That’s what adds to the mixed feelings here; if Sizemore does return to old form, the Indians will have a difficult time re-signing him to the $15 million-$20 million per year contract he’s going to deserve.
Given what Sizemore is right now, the Indians might well be better off replacing him with a right-handed-hitting corner outfielder. Left fielder Michael Brantley would be just fine in center, and Sizemore’s return makes the Indians way lefty heavy. Brantley, right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, DH Travis Hafner, second baseman Jason Kipnis and third-base candidates Jack Hannahan and Lonnie Chisenhall are all left-handed hitters.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.
Earlier, Craig asked if Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber would play the outfield now that the World Series has come to Chicago, where there will be no DH. The answer to that is no, it appears. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that Schwarber has not been medically cleared to play the outfield, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Schwarber returned to the Cubs sooner than expected after suffering a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg during an early April collision with teammate Dexter Fowler in Arizona. In preparation to join the Cubs for the World Series, Schwarber went to the Arizona Fall League and reportedly saw over 1,000 pitches from machines as well as Single-A pitchers. He doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (that was very nearly a home run) in Game 1, then drew a walk and hit two RBI singles in five plate appearances in Game 2.
At least right now, however, it appears Schwarber will serve as a bat off the bench for Games 3, 4, and 5 until he gets medical clearance.