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.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.