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Thursday, 23 January 2014 19:50

Boston Red Sox Sign Grady Sizemore

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The Red Sox announced on Wednesday evening that they have agreed to terms on a one year,  $750,000 deal with outfielder Grady Sizemore. Given the 31 year olds injury history, Boston loaded Sizemore's deal with incentives that could bump his total earnings up to $6M, if he reaches the necessary goals. Knowing that Boston was seeking to find depth at the position, the Sizemore signing doesn't come as a total shock. Jackie Bradley Jr. represented the only center fielder on the Red Sox 40 man roster. And while Bradley Jr. is highly thought of among the Red Sox organization, his inexperience in the majors made looking for a cheap back up option, like Sizemore, wise. The only real shock that came with adding Sizemore was the fact that Boston shelled out a major league deal to the habitually injured outfielder. As you may recall, Sizemore was once thought of as one of the games best center fielders during his time with the Cleveland Indians, but has recently fallen victim to a rash of injuries. From 2005 to 2008, Sizemore had only missed 9 games after becoming the teams ever day center fielder, and played in back-to-back 162 game season in 2006 and 2007. As a regular in Cleveland's line-up, Sizemore became known for his combination of speed, power, and defense. Sizemore posted a .281/.372/.496 slash from 2005-2008, primarily batting out of the lead off spot. Along the way Sizemore picked up 3 All Star selections, 2 Gold Glove awards, and 2 Silver Slugger awards. 2009 is when things really started to take a turn for the worst for Sizemore. After a subpar 2009 campaign, Sizemore elected to undergo elbow surgery in Septmeber of that year. In the following season, Sizemore played in just 33 games before having microfracture surgery on his left knee. In 2011, Sizemore dealt with multiple injuries including a hernia and 2 right knee problems. In 2012, Sizemore's injury rap sheet grew even larger after he underwent back surgery during spring training and was forced to start the year on the disabled list. Later that year, Sizemore under went a second microfracture surgery, this time, on his right knee. The one time superstar never returned to the field in 2012 and hasn't done so since. 2011. While he did meet with teams prior to the 2013 campaign, Sizemore decided to sit the year out and let his body heal. While Sizemore hasn't played since 2011, there isn't any harm in taking a flier on him now that he is reportedly fully healthy. The Red Sox know what kind of player Sizemore can be. Both John Farrell and assistant general manager, Mike Hazen, are familiar with Sizemore from their time with the Indians organization. Conversely, the Red Sox aren't expecting Sizemore to be the dynamic, every day player he once was in Cleveland. Instead, they're hoping to catch some lightning in a bottle. While microfracture surgery on both knees probably took away most of Sizemore's speed, his on-base and power potential are perhaps what Boston is most interested in. For now, we'll just have to wait and see if Sizemore can get through spring training in one piece and perform against major league pitching. But if he retained any of his past abilities, than Boston's bench will certainly benefit.