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.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.
If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.
Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”
Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”
Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.