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May 16, 2011

Transaction Analysis Blog

Sizemore Heads to DL, Bradley to Free Agency

by R.J. Anderson

IN THIS ISSUE

American League

CLEVELAND INDIANS
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Cleveland Indians
Place OF Grady Sizemore on the 15-day disabled list. [5/16]
Recall OF Travis Buck from Triple-A Columbus. [5/16]

A right knee contusion is the latest injury to land Sizemore on the DL. Because he suffered the injury last Tuesday and has not played since, the Indians were able to date the trip back to last Wednesday. That means Sizemore will be eligible to return before the end of the month. Still, it’s another unfortunate bump in the road for Sizemore, who had set the league ablaze with six home runs and 10 doubles in just 84 plate appearances this season. The Indians have been the surprise team of the first quarter of 2011, and Sizemore certainly had a hand in their ascent.

In Sizemore’s absence, Manny Acta will presumably employ Michael Brantley as the Tribe’s center fielder. The arrival of Buck is not going to send shockwaves through the land, however he figures to fill an otherwise vacant role. With Brantley in center, Acta has to play either Shelley Duncan or Austin Kearns in left field. Buck, with a career .253/.337/.420 line against righties, can make up for some of their deficiencies against right-handed pitching.

Buck being limited to a mediocre platoon outfielder is quite a fall from his 2007 season, when—as a rookie— he hit .288/.377/.474, yet has hit .218/.283/.375 in more than 350 plate appearances since. Buck struggled in a 10-game stint earlier this season, but did manage better at Triple-A by hitting .333/.432/.583 in 75 plate appearances.

SEATTLE MARINERS
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Seattle Mariners
Release OF Milton Bradley. [5/16]

No team was willing to trade for Bradley, and no team would have claimed the embattled outfielder off waivers (thus taking responsibility for his $12 million salary). Those realities left the Mariners with no other option than to release Bradley. The real question now is whether any team will give Bradley the pro-rated minimum and insert him into their lineup with hopes of a revival.  

From 2006 to 2008, Bradley managed an OPS over 920 while splitting time between Oakland, San Diego, and Texas. Starting in 2009—after signing with the Cubs—Bradley has hit .234/.342/.375. If teams feel his slash line is indicative of his true talent level, then do not expect many to line up for his services. However, it just takes one team with enough curiosity for Bradley to land another job—and with so little cash on the line, the eject button can be struck at the first sign of trouble.


R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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<< Previous Article
The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/16)
<< Previous Column
Transaction Analysis B... (05/12)
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Transaction Analysis B... (05/17)
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