December 21, 2012
Friday, December 21
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have spent their second offseason in Chicago stocking up on starting pitchers, and yesterday, Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva joined Scott Baker and Scott Feldman on the Cubs’ list of newcomers. For more on those signings, see R.J. Anderson’s Transaction Analysis post. Today’s Roundup features a few not-too-distant throwbacks and an update on the talks for one of the winter’s hottest remaining trade commodities.
Mets ‘very interested’ in Grady Sizemore
The most pressing need is in center field, where the current options are Mike Baxter, Collin Cowgill, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Jordany Valdespin, a group that does not include a single adequate defender or everyday-caliber hitter. Alderson phoned Athletics GM Billy Beane about Coco Crisp, per a tweet from New York Post columnist Ken Davidoff, but that request was rebuffed. Scott Hairston and Cody Ross have been mentioned as possible fits, but both of them are best utilized in a platoon arrangement and ideally in an outfield corner. Finally, Michael Bourn would settle both the offensive and the defensive issues—and allow Ruben Tejada to move down in the order—but he is out of the Mets’ price range.
Thus, Alderson was forced to think outside the box, and according to SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt, he’s doing just that. Burkhardt reported on Thursday that the Mets are chasing Sizemore, whose career has been derailed by injuries since late May of the 2009 season. A three-win player that year, and a four- to six-win contributor in each of his first four big-league campaigns, Sizemore has since undergone a plethora of surgeries. The laundry list includes a debridement procedure on his elbow, two operations to relieve sports hernias, a microdiscectomy on his lower back, and two microfracture surgeries, one on each knee, the most recent of them on his right knee on Sept. 15. The 30-year-old Sizemore made cameos in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons, but he was predictably rusty and looked like a shadow of his All-Star self, costing the Indians 0.8 combined wins by stepping onto the field.
Sizemore would be little more than a flier for the Mets, and after taking home $5,500,000—the value of a wasted one-year deal for 2012, plus the buyout from the club option in his preexisting extension—since last October, he’ll probably need to settle for a minor-league hitch or an incentive-laden big-league pact this winter. If talks progress, Alderson could try to include a team option for the 2014 season, whereby Sizemore would reward the Mets for taking a chance on his comeback attempt by staying in Queens at a below-market rate the following year.
MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince reported from the Winter Meetings that Sizemore won’t be ready until at least a couple of months into the season, and whether his knees would recover enough for him to roam Citi Field’s pastures is anyone’s guess. Back then, Rob Bradford of WEEI heard that the Red Sox were among the “numerous teams showing interest,” though the present state of the bidding, and whether the Mets were one of the clubs that contacted agent Joe Urbon in Nashville, is uncertain. Bradford noted that the Sizemore market would take time to develop, so it bears watching over the next few days to see if Burkhardt’s report is an indication that he is preparing to sign.