July 22, 2014

MLB Trade Rumors: Is Grady Sizemore Next?

Grady Sizemore, Gold GloveNews flash: The Cleveland Indians are in rebuilding mode.  A young core group of guys – at least on the offensive side of things – that may allow this team to once again compete, albeit in three years.  A part of that core is center fielder Grady Sizemore.  But for how long?

When Mark Shapiro and company put up the white flag to the fans by shipping both Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee to contenders despite both players still having one year on their respective contracts, the radar then turned to the only real “star” left on the squad. 

Sizemore, 27, is coming off of a season where his numbers were hampered by injury.  Fresh off of the operating table, the two-time gold glove winner will look to rebound for the good of the Indians as well as himself.  Yes, he is under contract until 2012, but that last year is a team option for $8.5 million with a $500,000 buyout.

When the Indians signed Sizemore to his current deal, general manager Mark Shapiro claimed that the deal was “a further demonstration of the partnership between our players and the Indians organization, and that [the Indians] are committed to building and sustaining a championship team and Grady – as one of the most talented young players in the game today – is the kind of player and person that can help lead us to that goal.” 

Never one to really consider things that they have said in the past, fans should consider the realities of the situation. 

Despite the apparel that Sizemore sells for the Tribe, and the fact that he is the team’s most recognizable player, a decision will have to be made on his future sooner rather than later. 

If Sizemore is traded, his club option becomes a player option, inherently making his deal through 2011 as the three-time All-Star would undoubtedly opt out and test the free agent market.  Not to mention, the terms of his deal claim that if he is traded, the remaining years on his contract increase by 10 percent in terms of compensation.  Thus, the longer the Indians hold on to Sizemore, the less value he has in the trade market.

When Sizemore singed said contract, he claimed that he declared “I’m still going to play the game the same way.  I want to be here for a long time.”

Losing, however, can change one’s tone very quick.  If the Indians are in the midst of potential 100-loss season, it would not be far-fetched to assume Sizemore (or his agent) would start booking a few meetings with the front office to discuss the collective future.  Given his age, Sizemore is in the prime of his career and could potentially demand quite a price in the trade market.

In 2008, Sizmore hit 33 home runs, stole 38 bases, and had an OPS of .876.  A player that continually gets compared to Sizemore is Detroit’s Curtis Granderson who also displays the rare power-speed combination.  The Angels have reportedly offered a deal for Granderson that centers around top infield prospect Brandon Wood.  It was not long ago that Wood was one of the top prospects in the game – the Angels simply have no room for him at this level.  The Yankees also think very highly of Granderson, so one could assume that they would love Sizemore – especially when you consider their penchant for current Indians.  Not to mention, (like many others before him) Sizemore has already found himself in the jet-setting circles that would likely suit him better socially in New York or Los Angeles. 

I fully expect the Indians to go to battle this season with Sizemore in center field.  However, if the blow-it-up-and-rebuild mode continues through 2010, those No. 24 jerseys that are oh so popular in the confines of Progressive Field may be hitting a clearance rack in the not-so distant future.

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

  • LaundroMat

    “their penchant for current Indians.” Could you elaborate on this? I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

  • Chris

    I’d go out on a limb and say that this would be a horrible time to trade him considering the season he just had. It would, however, be par for the course for the Indians to sell low.

  • http://gooddoctorzeus.blogspot.com DocZeus

    You can’t trade the only marketable player on the entire team at this point especially when he’s still under contract for three more seasons. You could still conceivably compete in three years.

  • Chris

    On a side note, it doesn’t really matter because every GM in baseball knows you can loot the Indians.

    /goes back to getting ready for the Browns game

  • Isis

    “However, if the blow-it-up-and-rebuild mode continues through 2010″.

    As if they could blow it up any further? Cmon. The question is when are YOU going to blow it up and DEMAND better? Until then, that bad steak will still be served COLD.

  • Roosevelt

    Um, yeah Isis, they could blow it up further. They could trade Sizemore. (And they definitely will, because the only way they’ll EVER have a reason to hold on to anyone is if/when they compete, and they’ll never do that. He’s as good as gone.)

  • Jack

    Jax to the Bobcats.

  • http://diamondhoggers.com TheNaturalMevs

    I’ve been saying since the trade deadline 2009 that Sizemore is next.

  • Anthony

    Googling “Brittany Binger” is NSFW. The More You Know.

  • Chris

    @ #7 – Awesome. I’m glad those rumors are dead now.

  • Omega King

    Yes Isis, because by DEMANDING a winner, we GET one. Or, the OWNER doesn’t CARE what we THINK and this is all just CHATTER on the INTERNET. OBSERVE IT!

  • S-Dub

    IF they traded Sizemore with 2 or 3 years left on his deal, the MLB players association, and owners should get together and force the sale of the Tribe. As a matter of fact the fans should ban together and force a class action lawsuit on the basis of violating antitrust laws. (I actually have no idea if that’d fly, but I’m serious about the law suit).

  • Chris

    I’m not sure the MLBPA would be up in arms, it would be doing one of their players a favor.

  • Harv 21

    The primary factor determining when they’ll trade Sizemore is not maximizing trade value, although that is surely what Shapiro wants. The main reason they will dump Sizemore (and Wood) with plenty of time left on his contract is the Dolans’ obvious trouble meeting their current payroll. The salary dumping was transparent last summer. Given the further expected attendance drop there is no way they’re keeping anyone making seven million, no matter how underpaid they are relative to the going price of their talents. Welcome to the MLB death spiral: poor performance, falling attendance, dump salary, poorer performance, even lower attendance, etc. Without deep pockets, they are praying for a 2007-type lightning-in-a-bottle to save them.

    By the way, everyone seems to think a simple salary cap would bail them out. Disagree. With regional cable contracts giving larger market teams tens of millions more, even a hard cap would probably be set way too high for the Dolans. Only a cap along with substantial revenue sharing will bail them out. Otherwise we’re stuck in a purgatory where every year’s marketing campaign will be some derivation of “come see our young talent come of age.”

  • http://clevesportsflow.blogspot.com Ryan

    Thanks for digging up a possibility that I knew existed but refused to ponder. We all knew back in 2004 that CC would end up in pin stripes when his deal was done here. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to assume Grady will follow – making the Cleveland Indians the greatest farm system of all time.

  • Josh

    @ # 15 – agreed…Damon won’t be around forever, Grady is a nice replacement…

    ugh…

  • Jackson

    I remember another top infield prospect that just couldn’t seem to break into the line-up of a successful organization due to “hard luck”. I believe his name was Marte. Yes, thats it, Andy Marte…

  • phred

    “By the way, everyone seems to think a simple salary cap would bail them out. Disagree. With regional cable contracts giving larger market teams tens of millions more, even a hard cap would probably be set way too high for the Dolans. Only a cap along with substantial revenue sharing will bail them out.”

    I have no idea what the odds are that MLB would institute a cap, but revenue sharing would be part of the package–you don’t get a cap without revenue sharing.

    First of all, it’s not the big market teams that want a cap–it’s the smalls and mids. To enforce a cap without a corresponding revenue sharing model would only serve to improve the big market team’s bottom lines (iow, it would cap their expenses without touching their income.)

    Second, no way in hell the MLBPA would allow a cap without revenue sharing in place–the only way the union wins is if those small and mid market teams increase their spending. That only happens with revenue sharing. And by extension, a salary floor.

    Third, I don’t believe any league has EVERY implemented a cap without revenue sharing. The union would never allow it to happen if it restricted the number of dollars being paid to players… indeed, the whole idea is to maintain and increase the dollars going to the players by getting more teams involved–a rising tide lifts all boats. Nothing to worry about–a cap can only mean good things at this point. I have little confidence it will happen any time soon in baseball, but there’s no conceivable way that a plan is put in place that somehow hamstrings the small and mid market teams.

  • Cody

    Way to create a story out of nothing. For all the crap this site gives ESPN for creating the LeBron to NY trade talk, I wouldn’t expect this kind of lazy reporting here.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    @ Cody – a fair criticism, yes. But there’s a pronounced difference in my opinion, and that is the fact that there’s precedence for the Dolans to make a move like this. They held the chips with Lee this season in controlling his team option next year. They dealt him anyways. I don’t want to see it happen, but this is far more realistic of a scenario than you might want to admit.

    I wrote a tongue in cheek article at the start of the beisbol season about the Tribe possibly moving Lee, and it happened. I think with this ownership it’s hard to rule any move like this out, with Grady’s potential.

  • Cody

    @ Denny – I know I’m not commenting on this site enough for you to know where I come from on this, but trust me when I say that I understand everything that you have stated above. I spend every waking minute over at LGT and I know the state of team, but I still don’t feel this article is warranted.

    Now, if this article was written as a tongue in cheek that would be one thing. It is quite another to state “MLB Trade Rumors:” and then go at it. We’re talking about a front office that largely keeps their trade rumblings air tight, so when such a thing begins to bubble to the surface it is almost inevitable. To begin such rumblings now is irresponsible in my mind and really detrimental to the overall mindset of the casual fan browsing this site. Instead of getting a background on article after half of next year’s coaching staff is hired we get this tired article. Really the first article I’ve come across here that disappointed me.

  • Kristina

    “Sizemore has already found himself in the jet-setting circles” ???? what the hell are you talking about? he never goes anywhere, he stays at home, he doesnt go out and get wasted all the time. do you even know anything about grady sizemore? he doesnt go out, he’s quiet, and he has said in the past that he doesnt want to play for a big name team like the yankees or the dodgers. granted, you may be 100% correct about the fact that Mark Shapiro or whoever is in charge of the trades is a complete and utter [WFNY Edit: languaaaaaaaage!] and may trade him away, but most likely AGAINST HIS WILL. maybe you should do some more research before you write crap about a person

  • pete

    Are these MLB Trade Rumors pieces written by a talk radio caller?

    There is almost no chance that the Indians will trade Grady Sizemore any time soon. He is under contract for another three years, and dealing him would be saying that the team doesn’t expect to compete until 2013, which is ridiculous from both a business and talent standpoint.

  • mal 219

    “Sizemore has already found himself in the jet-setting circles” ???? what the hell are you talking about? he never goes anywhere, he stays at home, he doesnt go out and get wasted all the time. do you even know anything about grady sizemore? he doesnt go out, he’s quiet, and he has said in the past that he doesnt want to play for a big name team like the yankees or the dodgers. granted, you may be 100% correct about the fact that Mark Shapiro or whoever is in charge of the trades is a complete and utter [WFNY Edit: languaaaaaaaage!] and may trade him away, but most likely AGAINST HIS WILL. maybe you should do some more research before you write crap about a person


    and so brings a Grady Sizemore fan in denial, have you checked some gossip blogs since the summer, Grady is a bit of a party animal with his playboy playmate girlfriend

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