Also an option for Phillies: Grady Sizemore
UPDATE: Grady Sizemore is the belle of the ball.
He’s got two Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger, three All-Star appearances from 2006-08, and he’s appeared in 210 games total from 2009-11.
In 2012, he appeared in no games because he had back surgery in the preseason and – I’d love to stop right here, at the words “back surgery” but there’s plenty more – began the season on the 60-day disabled list. Instead of returning at the end of 60 days, he had more surgeries, now on his knee due to “recurring pain,” courtesy of a microfracture.
In 2013, he would have loved to sign with a team, but did not want to do so until he was “ready,” which he estimated would be around midseason, when exactly no teams signed him.
Now, heading toward 2014, Ken Rosenthal says Grady Sizemore might be a "possibility" for the Phillies. And then I guess he laughed for a while and high-fived Jon Morosi.
It would be difficult to not see the humor in a 31-year-old outfielder recovering from seven surgeries who hasn’t played baseball in two years and hasn’t played anything resembling a full season since 2008 being a "possibility" with the 2014 Phillies.
But if we want to think about this in a way that is healthy for us, then no, Grady Sizemore probably doesn’t belong on a team unless he is okay with not playing much and losing a lot and the team is okay with him pretty much just being there to prove that he can be there without shattering. All he really has to do is look passable and someone will bring him on board in Spring Training, as is most likely his intention.
The plus defense and average offense supplied by vintage Sizemore (.278/.380/.499, 18 WAR from 2006-08) seems out of the question, so by March 2014, when his most recent surgery will be a year and half ago, the stage will be as set as it will ever be for a comeback. Then comes the grace period, in which he adjusts to getting back into the swing of things, and then by May, or June, since he won’t be getting consistent at-bats, he might be comfortable enough to start being effective. Or, he could just be put on ice down in the minors until it’s deemed necessary for a Grady Sizemore appearance in the Major League lineup.
But he would be cheap, is the thing. He would have to be. That’s sort of the baseline of any argument that signing Sizemore wouldn’t be a waste of space. After that, you just sort of watch and wait to see if he can still be a shadow of his former self and if that shadow has any real reason to be on the big club. If he comes out hot, well rested, and ready to go, then his inexpensive deal looks brilliant. If he’s lagging, in pain, or can’t push past the Mendoza Line after a while, then at least it was only a cheap deal. And so far this offseason, the Phillies haven’t made any moves much more exciting than “Grady Sizemore," so they're certainly not above it.
But they think they're in a club that needs to "win now," remember, so they may believe their offense is a Grady Sizemore comeback away from contention.