Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Reds are in “advanced talks” with free agent outfielder Grady Sizmore. Rosenthal adds that other teams are involved, however, and that Sizemore might ultimately head in another direction. Reds GM Walt Jocketty said he hopes to “get something done next week,” according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Sizemore hasn’t played in the Majors since 2011 as he has been dealing with knee and back injuries since 2010. In May 2010, he suffered a microfracture in his left knee which required surgery, ending his season. He returned in mid-April 2011 but missed a month and a half between mid-July and early September with a sports hernia which also required surgery. He returned on September 5 but had just five hits — all singles — in 38 plate appearances. In October, he had surgery on his right knee. On March 1, 2012, Sizemore underwent surgery again, this time to repair an injury in his lower back. He missed the entire season. In September, he had knee surgery on his right knee again.
Obviously, Sizemore has been the victim of some very poor luck over the last few years, interrupting what was once a promising and potentially Hall of Fame-worthy Major League career. From 2006-2008, Sizemore was an All-Star three times, a Gold Glove winner twice, and he won the Silver Slugger for center field in the American League in 2008.
Now 31 years old, Sizemore is attempting to resume his career with a welcoming team. He’ll have to settle for a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.