Grady Sizemore initially hoped to be back in the Indians’ lineup by now following knee and back surgeries, but instead the center fielder’s rehab was sidetracked several times and now he’s yet to resume running.
Three weeks ago Sizemore vented some of his understandable frustration with yet another slower-than-expected recovery from a major injury, saying: “I can’t even explain it. It’s almost feels like a part of you is missing.”
He also spoke about the importance of taking things slow to avoid further setbacks and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that “there’s still no hint of when or if Sizemore will return” except that it certainly won’t be before the All-Star break.
General manager Chris Antonetti described himself as “still optimistic that Grady will contribute this year” after re-signing with the Indians on a one-year, $5 million contract, but clearly that’s no longer viewed as a sure thing and in the meantime Johnny Damon will continue to play regularly.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.