Red Sox sign Grady Sizemore to a big league deal worth $750,000

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WEEI’s Rob Bradford is reporting that the Red Sox are in agreement with outfielder Grady Sizemore on a one-year Major League deal worth $750,000. He can earn an additional $5.25 million with incentives. We learned earlier that Sizemore was moving on from the Reds, who had been heavily pursuing him.

Sizemore, 31, hasn’t played in the Majors since 2011 and hasn’t played a full season since 2008 due to an array of injuries and surgeries. A timeline:

  • June 4, 2010: Left knee surgery
  • July 21, 2011: Sports hernia surgery
  • October 3, 2011: Right knee surgery
  • March 1, 2012: Lower back surgery
  • September 15, 2012: Right knee surgery

It’s a good deal for both sides. Sizemore gets a chance to breathe life into his career, and the Red Sox add outfield depth on the cheap. Sizemore still has the potential to be a very productive player, which isn’t the case for the few remaining outfielders on the free agent market.

It is surprising that the Red Sox gave Sizemore a Major League deal considering his injury history. That said, even if Sizemore is unable to stay healthy or can’t perform, it would only be a loss of $750,000 — a drop in the bucket for the Red Sox.

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Sox have designated Brayan Villareal for assignment to make room for Sizemore on the roster.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.