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.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.