Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Turkey Day has come and gone and it is close to the time where the Hot Stove really begins to heat up. We looked last week at a list of free agents that might be worth the Indians looking at, and shortly there after one of those men did indeed sign on with the Tribe. Welcome… Home, Grady Sizemore. The Indians did not pick up his $9 Million option for 2012 as has been well documented all over. Most assumed, myself included, that Sizemore would suit up elsewhere next season, however, the Tribe veteran decided to stay home in Cleveland and show loyalty to the Indians that most of us fans have shown to him the last 7 years.
In what is a fairly interesting turn of events, as it seemed the market was heating up for the odt-injured center fielder, the Indians emerged as front runner for the services of the recovering Center Fielder. So lets look at the “addition” of Sizemore.
– The Indians get a outfielder who we all know can be amazing, on defense and offense, if his body holds up.
– They get a player they know. His playing style, personality and work ethic are not question marks. He knows the coaches and other players and the team chemistry will largely remain unaffected by the signing.
– It is a low risk investment. Much like the addition of Derek Lowe. $5 Million gauranteed, an extra $4 Million if he stays healthy. So, if he is healthy he earns what he would have if he had his option picked up. If not, the Indians are out far less than they would be if they paid a free agent to play and hope that big investment paid off.
– Flexibility. He can hit leadoff or middle of the order, play center, DH, or Left Field. The team still haa room to make additions elsewhere: like a 4th outfielder who hits right handed, a first baseman and some bullpen help.
The Sizemore addition is really the only news out of Cleveland this past week. Today, the trade of Luis Valbuena hit the wire. The 4A 2nd baseman was shipped to Toronto for cash. Valbuena was designated for assignment days ago to make room on the 40 man roster. So long sweet Louis.
As for now, we have to sit tight and wait for the Hot Stove to heat up. We know the Tribe will continue to be active, and for once the off-season is set to be exciting as the team is close to contention, especially with the newly expanded wild card field.