This is the reason I didn’t waste my time writing a long career retrospective on Grady Sizemore when the Indians declined his option last month. Grady has resigned with the Indians for 2012 for a rumored base salary of $5 million with incentives bringing it back up to the $9 million a year salary that the Tribe just rejected. The incentives are based on total plate appearances and winning the ‘Comeback Player of the Year’. This way the Indians keep their All-Star center fielder, but won’t be completely devastated if he gets injured and misses a lot of time in 2012. This will also solidify the Indians outfield which, while deep, just doesn’t have a whole lot of All-Star level talent. As it stands Shin-Soo Choo will remain in right field with Sizemore probably moving to left and Michael Brantley staying in center. There will be a wide selection of reserve outfielders available including Shelley Duncan (who will almost certainly make the team as a back-up outfield/firstbaseman and pinch hitter), Trevor Crowe and Ezequiel Carrera.
Hopefully his discounted price will allow Manny Acta to give him a slightly diminished role as well. The Indians now have better lead-off hitters in either Brantley or Jason Kipnis so Sizemore can be moved down into the lineup so he is hitting closer to sixth than first. As already mentioned, Grady should be taken out of the high stress position of centerfield and moved to left. In addition to that, he should probably not start every game as he has done in the past. In order to save his knees and keep him around all season, it would probably be a good move to allow him to split time with either Crowe or Carrera. Overall this signing is a great move and I’m looking forward to seeing Grady back in the outfield in an Indians uniform.