Three weeks after declining their $8.5 million option on Grady Sizemore the Indians have re-signed the oft-injured outfielder to a one-year, $5 million contract.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the deal also includes up to $4 million in additional incentives and Sizemore received a $500,000 buyout to become a free agent in the first place, so basically he can earn the entirety of the option that was declined if he stays healthy.
Sizemore reportedly drew offers from quite a few teams, but focused on negotiating with the Indians last week and clearly wanted to remain in Cleveland if possible. Agreeing to a one-year deal with no option for 2013 gives him a chance to get healthy and recoup his value with an eye toward hitting the free agent market again next winter at age 29 and the Indians apparently plan to keep him in center field.
From the Indians’ point of view they essentially changed $4 million in guaranteed money into $4 million in incentives for a one-time franchise building block who hasn’t been healthy and productive since 2008, missing 276 of a possible 486 games since then. It seems like a win-win move for both sides, but there’s no doubt that Sizemore’s career is at a major crossroads.
Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.
The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.
Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.
During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.
The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.
The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.