In re-signing Grady Sizemore to a one-year, $5 million contract Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said that he expects the oft-injured outfielder to be fully healthy by spring training and “to play the vast majority of games” in 2012.
Sizemore, who played just 71 games this year and 33 games in 2010, underwent his latest knee surgery in October.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Phillies, Cubs, and Rockies were the Indians’ main competition for Sizemore, who talked about how he just couldn’t see himself playing for another team.
Cleveland declined its $9 million option on Sizemore for 2012, giving him a $500,000 buyout instead, and his new deal includes $4 million in potential incentives in addition to $5 million in upfront money. He’d get $250,000 for reaching each of 450 and 475 plate appearances, and $500,000 for reaching each of 500, 525, 550, 575, 600, 625, and 650. There’s also a $500,000 bonus for winning comeback player of the year.
Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.
Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.
It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.