Indians activate Sizemore, start him at leadoff vs. O’s

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The Indians are off to a fantastic 10-4 start and have provided Major League Baseball’s biggest feel-good story to this point as they sit atop the American League Central standings.

Now they’re about to get a major piece of their starting lineup back.

According to the organization’s official Twitter feed, center fielder Grady Sizemore has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and is batting leadoff on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles.

Sizemore missed the first two weeks of the regular season while in recovery mode from microfracture knee surgery. He’s probably not back to 100 percent quite yet, but his left knee has to be tested at some point and the Tribe feel confident enough that he can contribute right now.

Sizemore spent six days on a minor league rehab assignment, collecting six hits, a home run and four RBI in 17 at-bats between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus.

The Indians placed infielder Mitch Talbot on the disabled list with an elbow injury to clear roster space.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.