UPDATE II: According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, a deal between the Indians and Sizemore will get done.
UPDATE: Sizemore’s agent, Joe Urbon, confirmed to Rosenthal that serious discussions with the Indians are taking place. The 29-year-old could make up his mind as soon as this weekend.
7:42 PM: Sources tell FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal than the Indians and Grady Sizemore are involved in serious talks and will likely agree to a one-year deal.
It’s something of a surprise, given that the team declined Sizemore’s $9 million option for 2012 earlier this month.
The 29-year-old Sizemore, formerly one of the AL’s very best players, has missed much of the last two seasons due to knee problems. He hit .224/.285/.422 with 10 homers in 71 games last season.
Sizemore was only interested in a one-year deal this winter, as he hopes to rebuild his value and land a much bigger contract next winter. That’s what adds to the mixed feelings here; if Sizemore does return to old form, the Indians will have a difficult time re-signing him to the $15 million-$20 million per year contract he’s going to deserve.
Given what Sizemore is right now, the Indians might well be better off replacing him with a right-handed-hitting corner outfielder. Left fielder Michael Brantley would be just fine in center, and Sizemore’s return makes the Indians way lefty heavy. Brantley, right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, DH Travis Hafner, second baseman Jason Kipnis and third-base candidates Jack Hannahan and Lonnie Chisenhall are all left-handed hitters.