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.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.