2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Grady Sizemore

Joe Robbins

Could the former five-tool star stage his comeback with the Mets?

Back in 2007, Grady Sizemore was one of baseball's best young stars. Even at 24 years old, he had already accumulated 13.5 fWAR in the prior two seasons combined and was called "one of the greatest players of our generation" by Indians GM Mark Shapiro. In 2008, he continued his league dominance, slashing .268/.374/.502 with an .876 OPS and ridiculous 7.2 fWAR (not even the highest of his career) while earning his third straight All-Star selection, second straight gold glove, and placing tenth in MVP voting.

However, Sizemore's career fell into a nosedive following the 2008 season. In 2009, Sizemore struggled mightily. He hit 15 fewer homers, stole 25 fewer bases, dropped 22 points in wRC+, and lost 5.4 fWAR. His season was mercifully cut short in September when he elected to have two surgeries to repair nagging injuries—to his left elbow and lower abdomen—that he had struggled with throughout the season. Since 2009, Sizemore has seemingly spent more time recovering from the operating table than on the field, undergoing five known surgeries, including a serious microfracture surgery on each knee. He then elected to sit out the entire 2013 season, citing injury concerns.

Now, Sizemore is looking to return to the majors. Considering that he has not seen a major league pitch since September 2011, he seems a good candidate for a low-risk, high-reward minor league contract. According to Ken Rosenthal, Sizemore has been in talks with the Reds, though other teams are also involved.

Sizemore would doubtless favor an opportunity to play regularly (or semi-regularly), and given the apparent uncertainty of Juan Lagares's ability to hit in the majors, Sizemore could find the Mets an intriguing option. Given their struggles to find offense from their outfielders last year, Sandy Alderson could reasonably offer Sizemore a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, though the additions of Young and Curtis Granderson this offseason attenuate that possibility somewhat.

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