The Yankees Should Look into Grady Sizemore

Lots of baseball news today with all of the options getting picked up and declined and then of course there is CC Sabathia, but one news item in particular caught my eye – the Indians declined Grady Sizemore‘s option (link).

The option was worth $8.5 million and back in 2008 or even 2009 declining that option would have seemed silly, but Sizemore has not been able to stay healthy, playing in just 210 games over the past three years.

Unthinkable as it might have been, Sizemore is now a free agent and still just 29-years-old. His past three seasons have been a disaster, but his first four seasons were unforgettable. In four years he averaged 160 games played, had a .372 OBP, and a .868 OPS while playing stellar center field. In 2007 Curtis Granderson finished in 10th place in the MVP voting, but most people still would have predicted that Sizemore would have the better future.

Many things have slowed him over the past three years starting with a groin injury during the World Baseball Classic in 2009. He also had elbow and hernia surgery performed that year. In 2010 it was microfracture surgery on his knee that kept him out most of the year. In 2011 he dealt with more knee problems and another hernia surgery.

Will those injuries be enough to keep the Yankees from being interested in Sizemore? It’s hard to say right now, but they were rumored to have considered Carlos Beltran as a possibility to replace Nick Swisher until they supposedly shied away because of his age and desire for a multi-year deal.

Sizemore is younger and because of the injuries potentially open to the idea of a shorter term deal. The Yankees could sign Sizemore and trade Swisher. Or they could even hold on to Swisher and unload him at the deadline if Sizemore can prove he can handle playing every day.

The only problem is the potential for disaster. If the Yankees dump Swisher to go after Sizemore and he gets hurt and can’t play then that’s a big hole in the lineup. That could be a problem that is very hard to overcome for an aging lineup.

Still, if Sizemore is agreeable to an Eric Chavez like deal – a base salary with incentives based on time served on the roster – then it’s hard not to like the idea of pursuing him. They thought about going after Beltran, this is very similar except he is younger and at least as much potential if healthy.

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9 Responses to The Yankees Should Look into Grady Sizemore

  1. JIM says:

    KEEP SWISHER GET RID OF GARDNER A 259AVG AN 36 RBI DONT CUT IT FOR AN AL OUTFILEDER

  2. Matt says:

    I agree, Rob. He deserves a look. Jim, Gardner out performed Swish against the Tigers and is arguably the best defense LF in the game. I'll take the defense/SB regular season and a good post season game versus Swish's October big swings and misses. I love Swish but he's a May-August performer.

  3. Fred says:

    I'd say to sign him in place of Andruw Jones, but unfortunately Sizemore is a lefty and we'd be out of right handed outfielders…

    Swisher was .232/.343/.420 from the left side and significantly better from the right though (.327/.442/.516). Sizemore is a career .288/.376/.515 batter against righties, so a platoon could be a pretty good situation. The issue here is whether the Yankees would be able to convince him to come over in that situation. If it worked out, the situation Rob brought up could apply, the Yankees could trade Swish and his expiring contract at the deadline.

    Might be a good call to help get some new young bats in the very old lineup. Certainly Sizemore is a great low risk/high reward guy though if he comes at the right price.

  4. mike says:

    agrred with jim sizemore on a one year deal and yankee stadium short porch put him in left makes sense trade gardy for pitcher that way 2013 youll have two outfield spots open for hamilton an kemp

  5. JIM says:

    GARDY HAD SOME HIT THIS POSTSEASON BUT LETS LOOK AT GARDNER IN 2009 NAMED STARING CENTFIELDER HALF WAY INTO YEAR LOSES JOB TO MELKY 2010 AFTER ALL STAR BREAK HIT 230 AN DOES NOTHING IN PLAYOFFS THIS 2011 HAS AWFUL START ALL NUMBERS DROP OFF AGAIN STEADY DECLINE IM NOT BRINING HIM BACK BECEAUCE 2 BIG HITS IN ONE SEREIES TIME TO UPGRADE CUDDYER KUBEL SIZMORE GARDY NUMBERS ARE FOURTH OUTFIELDER TYPE NUMBERS

  6. JIM says:

    FORA EVERBODY WHO WANT TO RAVEABOUT GARDY DEFENSE AN SB HERES SOME INFO FOR YA 2011 MATT HOLLIDAY AN LANCE BERKMAN TWO OF WORSE NL OUTFILEDERS IN MLB WHAT HAPPENS THEY WIN WS 2009 YANKEES WITH JONNHY DAMON IN LF HORRIBLE THROWING AVERAGE DEDENSE EVERYON IS GETTING CARRIED AWAY WITH THE DEFENSE AN GARDY NEVER STEALS WHEN IT MATTERS CANT HIT LEFT HANDED PITCHING LISTEN SIGN CUDDYER EVERYDAY LF TRADE GARDY FOR JOHN DANKS

    • Bronx_Knight says:

      Thanks for your comments. Danks would be a nice acquisition, but you vastly underestimate the value of speed, on-base percentage, and defense.

      Brett Gardner is NOT a "fourth outfielder." Let's compare him to Josh Hamilton. Certainly Brett's bat is nothing compared to Josh's. In particular, Brett has no power, and Josh has a good amount. But Brett has a great eye and draws twice as many walks as Hamilton. Consequently, his career OBP is nearly identical to Hamilton's. Also, what happens when Brett gets on base? Because of his speed, he frequently ends up on second. So in many cases, a walk to Gardner is equivalent to a double. Consequently, Brett Gardner scored more runs than Hamilton in 2010 and 2011.

      Now, defense. Gardner's speed and fielding ability save the Yankees tons of runs. Tons of balls that would drop in front of a slower fielder, Gardner catches. In 2011, this added up to the equivalent of 35 runs saved over a "standard" outfielder. Hamilton, meanwhile, runs like a dying elephant, so he saved only 2 runs over a "standard" outfielder in 2011. All in all, Hamilton was worth about 3.5 wins more than a "standard" ballplayer in 2011, all of that because of his bat. Gardner, meanwhile, was worth about 4.5 runs more than a "standard" ballplayer; about 2/3 of that because of his defense saving runs.

      Now, overall, Hamilton's bat is so outstanding that it outweighs Gardner's speed and defense. But his overall contributions are actually only a little bit smaller than Gardner's. Hamilton is slated to make $13,750,000 in 2012. Not sure about Gardy, but he made $500,000 in 2011. Keep Gardner, get Danks for $6 million, and you still have $7 million to play with.

      Oh, one more thing. Please lighten up on the ALLCAPS. It's like screaming out loud.