At the end of October, the Cleveland Indians decided to decline Grady Sizemore’s $9 million option, making the center fielder a free agent. Wednesday, the club announced they agreed to terms on a new one-year deal that will bring Sizemore back to Cleveland in 2012.
Sizemore’s new contract will pay the 29-year-old $5 million up front. While this is significantly less than what Sizemore had coming to him via his potential option, the new deal is said to include incentives that could match the $9 million the Indians declined to guarantee him in October.
Earlier in the offseason, it didn’t appear that the Indians had much of a chance to bring back Sizemore. The Rockies were tied to the center fielder as were the Phillies, Red Sox, A’s, Mets, Cubs, Yankees, and Rangers.
But Sizemore had interest in returning to his former club. The Indians jumped back into the picture this weekend when, according to Sizemore’s agent, the club approached the center fielder “with an aggressive offer”.
The deal seems to work well for both sides, as Sizemore is able to get a short-term deal with a significant potential payout. Meanwhile, Cleveland is able to bring back one of its fan favorites at a reasonable price.
If Sizemore gets hurt again, he probably won’t be reaching the additional payout, as the incentives only start to kick in once he reaches 450 plate appearances. If he does, he’ll be having a good year for the Indians and should be worth the money.
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