The Mets have reportedly shown interest in Grady Sizemore, the oft-injured, free-agent outfielder who put together four very good years with the Cleveland Indians between 2005 and 2008. Let's check in with Kevin!
Heard the #Mets are very interested in Grady Sizemore. He's coming off microfracture surgery, but I would def take a shot w him.— Kevin Burkhardt (@KBurkhardtSNY) December 20, 2012
As Burkhardt points out, Sizemore underwent knee surgery; the best-case scenario looks like a mid-season return to the big leagues, perhaps following the All Star break.
In his heyday, Sizemore was one of the better outfielders in the game. Between 2005 and 2008, he racked up 27.4 fWAR and hit .281/.372/.496 with 107, all while playing at least league-average defense in center field. He stole 115 bases in that time, too, and was caught 31 times — a success rate of 78.7 percent. By the end of the 2008 season, Sizemore's career looked pretty damn similar to Beltran's.
Sizemore was having a decent season in 2009, but it came to a premature end when he underwent elbow surgery in September. Since then, the injury bug has only gotten worse. He's had three knee surgeries — one on his left and two on his right, including the most recent — along with lower-back surgery earlier this year. In the middle of all that, he underwent surgery for a sports hernia, too.
As a result, Sizemore made just 435 plate appearances between 2010 and 2011, and his .659 OPS over that time wasn't even league average. Heading into 2013, he'll still be just 30 years old, but by the time he takes the field with a big league club, he will be more than four years removed from his most recent productive performance.
It's hard to imagine Sizemore will command much more than a minor league deal, and at such a low price, the Mets would be wise to roll the dice on the former star given the dearth of outfielders on the current 40-man roster. It's a low-risk move that likely won't pay off, but if it does, Sizemore could at least be a good value.