BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox are interested in signing former Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore, according to a report from the Boston Herald.
The Indians declined their $9 million option on the 29-year-old outfielder on Monday, instead choosing to pay a $500,000 buyout.
Last year, Sizemore hit .224 with 10 HRs and 32 RBI over just 71 games in his third straight injury-plagued seasons. He has only played a combined 210 games since the start of the 2009 season.
In the four years prior to 2009, however, Sizemore was a workhorse, playing at least 157 games each season. In 2006, perhaps his finest campaign, Sizemore led the majors with 53 doubles and 134 runs scored while hitting .290 with 28 homers, 76 RBI and a .375 OBP.
In 2007 (.390 OBP) and 2008 (.374 OBP), Sizemore showed an exceptional plate presence, walking at least 98 times each year. Plate patience is a skill the Red Sox have coveted in the past, and the team will be looking to replace rightfielder J.D. Drew, another patient hitter.
The Red Sox may view Sizemore as a possible risk/reward signing, just as they viewed third baseman Adrian Beltre after the 2009 season. The Sox signed Beltre, who was coming off a few down years, to a one-year, $10 million deal with incentives for the 2010 season. He went on to hit .321 with 49 doubles, 28 home runs, and 102 RBI before signing a 5-year, $80 million deal with an option for 2016 with the Texas Rangers.
Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish figure to battle for the job in right field with any potential free agent signings.