Mark Sheldon is reporting that the Reds have talked with Grady Sizemore, but Walt Jocketty also said “I’m not sure where that is right now. With the holidays, not much has happened.” Sizemore is a guy that fans seems to constantly bring up as an option to bring in. When he was fully healthy 5 years ago, he was a heck of a player. But from 2009-2011, he couldn’t stay healthy and he really struggled to perform. He hasn’t played a game since the 2011 season and has had two knee surgeries, a sports hernia and a back surgery since.

Sizemore and his agent claim that he is healthy. Healthy is one thing, which he may very well be. But what does he have left? Three knee surgeries and a back surgery since 2010 began is a long list of serious injuries for a guy who is going to be on the wrong side of 30 in 2014 (he will be 31). Sizemore has been exclusively a center fielder defensively as a major leaguer, but you have to honestly wonder if he still has the legs to handle the position. If he doesn’t can he handle the corners without any experience there since he was 20 and in AA when he played all of 13 games in left field.

With that said, I think it could be a good move. Sizemore could absolutely rake at one point in his career and that, more than the defense, is what I think the Reds need to be focusing on adding to the team. There is no doubt that he will get a minor league deal, he hasn’t played any game since September 2011. If he does sign somewhere, I would imagine it being a minor league deal with an invite to spring training and incentives all over the place for if he does make the big league roster.

20 Responses

  1. Jake

    At this point, I don’t see what Cincy has to lose by bringing him in on a minor league invite. I mean, besides Lamarre and maybe Lutz depending on where they place him, they won’t have many hot prospects to give playing time to in Louisville.

    But, if that is their sole solution to the Reds’ bench/offensive needs, I’m not a huge fan of it. I feel like they need another hitter.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree. If he can come back, it would be huge. Still we need more pieces for the bench.

  2. KyWilson1

    I love the idea. If hes healthy he is at the very least thump off the bench. Low risk high reward type deal. Still think Chris Couglan should be offered a contract, hes played all 3 outfield positions as well as 2b and 3b. He could be a very valuable piece.

  3. MK

    If Grady is healthy he won’t be in Louisville, but Hamilton might be. If he isn’t he probably won’t be in Louisville either.

  4. Jim t

    Guys aside from signing a SS I think the bench is set.

    Shucmacker
    Heisey
    Hanahan
    Pena
    SS

    • Alan Horn

      The first 2 might be playing a lot depending on what Hamilton does. Not a especially
      strong bench but probably better than last season’s bench.

      • KyWilson1

        The only way Hamilton is in Louisville is if they sign Sizemore and he shows up to spring training and looks like pre injury Grady. And even then I would see them playing Sizemore in LF just to be easy on his brittle body.

  5. AWA85

    Love the idea of bringing him in and see what happens, but ouch the guy hasn’t had a decent season since 2008 or 2009. Talk about some MAJOR time off.

  6. babull

    I read the MLBTR post concerning Grady and what, if any, off-season moves the team may yet make. If the article is correct, then they appear about done. They need a backup SS, though. Other than maybe Grady and that SS, that is it. They are out of money it seems. Consider my excitement officially quashed.

    • IndyRedsFan

      I agree that they are “done” when it comes to signing high priced free agents. I expect the backup ss to be a $1-2 mm FA commitment.

      I still suspect that there is a trade to be made. It would have to be relatively cost neutral, but a trade of a pitcher (Chapman, Bailey, Leake) for a similarly priced OF would be what I would be looking to do.

      In my mind there are two major questions for the coming season.

      1) can Hamilton hit enough to get the majority of starts in CF?
      2) Can Ludwick hit enough (given his age and injury) to deserve the majority of starts in LF?

      I believe they really need an outfielder in place (one that is better than Shumaker or Heisey) in the event that either or both of the answers are “no”.
      I’m not against taking a flyer on Sizemore, but the chance that he returns to his 2008 form is less than the answers to both questons above being “yes”. In short, I don’t see him being the insurance policy they need.

  7. Norwood Nate

    There is no splashy FA signing out there, even if the Reds decided they had the money to do so. Cruz, arguably the best bat available, has a questionable history and downgrades our defense. We would then have over 20mil (closer to 25 probably) in corner OF’ers not named Bruce. And, depending on the length of the deal, block/complicate one the arrival our our best offensive prospects.

    Drew would make sense to a small degree, as he is an upgrade over Cozart offensively, and we could technically make Cozart the back up SS (at near league minimum for next year). But I don’t think Drew is enough of a difference in making our offense better to allocate the money and draft pick necessary to bring him in.

    No one else on the FA market fills a need. A trade appears the only viable option, but no one on the ML roster as a position player has the ready-available replacement in our system. And our ML ready talent in the minors is non-existent. So by trading one player for an upgrade we create a hole and a surplus all at the same time, unless we trade from P depth. And then only Chapman (or another BP arm) is really replaceable from within.

    So yeah, I can only see minor moves happening. It would take a multi-team approach to address any of our needs via trade. At this point, this team seems stuck spinning it’s wheels behind the Cards anyway. Only major upgrades and trades will improve our club to the point of realistically competing this year. And at what cost to our future would that come? We should trade any of our top prospects to make marginal improvements this year year to finish in 2nd for a chance at a one game play off.

    Go get Justin Turner and Chris Coughlan as minor moves. Sign Sizemore to a minor league deal and see if he has anything left in the tank. And hope for improvements from Mes, Cozart, and Frazier.

  8. RedsFaninPitt

    Trade Marshall to San Diego for Denorfia (they are wanting a LH reliever) and trade Leake to Arizona for Gregarious (they have an excess of SS) + a good reliever or prospect. This gives you a solid CF with decent OBP to lead off; it gives you a good young SS that could allow you some maneuvering room to deal BP later. I would then try to Paul Maholm to fill Leake’s place.

    • MK

      Leake for a Maholm is a downgrade.

      Marshall loss weakens bullpen

      If Denorfia is in left that doesn’t create a 4 hole hitter so no upgrade, plus he is a career part timer.

      For all the negatives above Didi doesn’t create enough of an upgrade, if any, over Cozart to make this worthwhile

  9. RedsFaninPitt

    Maholm for Leake would not be a downgrade. Their stats are quite similar. See these stats from last year – Maholm – K/9 – 6.18; BB/9 – 2.76; HR/9 – 1.00; GB% – 51.2%; FIP – 4.24; XFIP – 3.89;

    Leake – K/9 – 5.71; BB/9 – 2.25; HR/9 – .98; GB% – 48.7%; FIP – 4.04; XFIP – 3.91

    Given that Maholm is a lefty and a better groundball pitcher, I would choose him over Leake in GABP.

    You missed that I suggested that the Reds also obtain a quality reliever or prospect in trading Leake to AZ for Gregorious. That reliever could replace Marshall. (I wouldn’t get overly hung up on relievers anyways because there are arms in our system that could likely replace Marshall without too much difficulty or could be picked up elsewhere.} The Reds place way too much value on relief pitching IMO. Whether you like it or not, the Reds are going to be fully committed to Ludwick in LF this year. They are paying him way too much to not play him if he is healthy, and they will never be able to trade him. Hopefully, he can produce decent numbers. Anyway, I think the power that Bruce (who should be their #4 hitter), Votto, Frazier, Phillips and Mesoraco will provide should be enough even if Ludwick doesn’t quite measure up to his 2012 stats. Batting Bruce and Votto back-to-back shouldn’t be a major problem since neither of them have bad negative splits facing lefties. That’s a myth that Dusty foisted on us long after Bruce learned to hit lefties. Lastly, the Reds need higher OBP guys at the top of the order who can play CF. They need this more than additional power. Denorfia provides what they need and at a very reasonable price.

  10. MK

    Mahlon Age31. 9 years high win total 13. Lifetime ERA 4.28. WHIP 1.39. in 2013 was paid $6.5 million

    Leake. Age 26 4years high win total 14 life ERA 3.99 WHIP 1.31 2013 paid $ 3.06 miliion.

    I’ll take Leake. At 26 he still has an upside. Mahlon has reached his. Being left handed doesn’t make you better and Leake will get a raise this year but he and Maholm will probably make about the same.

    Replacing Marshall with a rookie isn’t a sound competitive move, it is just financial.

    Didi and Cozart are a push.

    The Reds will only make a deals that make them better, on paper. In January that is all you have is paper. Your deals do not make the Reds better. At best it is even . By not doing it they know what they have and they are not in a position financially to gamble.

  11. RedsFaninPitt

    Your Leake and Maholm stats prove my point that they are very similar pitchers (other than their age) and signing Maholm and trading Leake would NOT be a downgrade. Wins don’t tell you much about about a pitcher. Trading Leake and signing Maholm does not make the team much better. It would be about the same for that position. What would make the team better is upgrading their ability to get on base (compared with what they have now) and providing a solid hitting SS to backup Cozart or possibly replace Cozart later in the season. Obtaining Denorfia would provide a good leadoff hitter (or batting 2nd behind Phillips) that they probably don’t have right now. Denorfia has one year left on his contract for $2.25 mil. This will give Hamilton an additional season to work on his hitting in AAA. It would also give the Reds additional maneuvering room for possibly trading Phillips later in the season for the big bat that you want. Trading Phillips now when his stock is so low doesn’t make sense. He will likely have a better season which will increase his value. IMO, while signing Maholm and trading Leake and Marshall does not substantially make the team better, it DOES make them better by filling most of the hole that Choo left. I guess we just disagree about what the Reds need and what makes them better. You see the need for a big power bat that I don’t believe the Reds could ever afford; I believe they have all the power that they need to compete (particularly with Ludwick healthy and Mez in the lineup everyday). I believe they need a solid OBP guy at the top of the order who can play a good CF. IMO, my suggestion accomplishes this without busting the budget since there would be significant salary relief trading Marshall and Leake allowing you to sign Maholm.

  12. DaveCT

    My issue with a deal like this is it undervalues Marshall, who I think is more valuable than a 4th OF/part-time starter (we traded Wood, Sappelt, and Torreyes for him, albeit pre-injury). And I do like Denorfia and his skill set (ans as a CT guy), and think he’d be a good supplement to leadoff for the next few years.

    I also do not trade Leake straight up for Didi, who I would love to have back, this would be the same reasoning as MK states above, in essence upside. I’d trade a a prospect or two but keep Leake. In part because I would not like to see us returning to having journeymen in the rotation (i.e. career #5 starters).

  13. Steve Ross

    I don’t see Denorfia as a 4th outfielder in 2014. I would see him as a starter until or unless Hamilton clearly shows improvement hitting AAA pitching and improving his OBP. Your not paying Denorfia ($2.25 mil.) so much that it would be a waste to put him on the bench if Hamilton clearly becomes ready to takeover in CF.

    Also, I am not suggesting that Leake for Didi in a straight up trade. I would be asking for another good reliever or good prospect in addition.

    I agree with you that the trade for Marshall was not a good one. I disagreed with it from the beginning. You don’t trade a solid #4 or #5 starter for even a good reliever which is what this trade came down to. The fact that the Reds traded other prospects on top of it made it even a worse trade. This again represents erroneous overvaluation of relievers on the Reds part which goes back to Fransisco Cordero and continues under Jocketty to today. Look at what the Pirates are paying for relievers, and their bullpen is quite a bit better than the Reds in my opinion. The other prospects that the Reds gave up have really amounted to anything so far. But, losing Wood was big and reduced their pitching depth – particularly last year. And, also could have given them more trade chips for this offseason.

    Lastly, Leake’s upside is no higher than Maholm. Even though he is still young, he’s been in the big leagues for 4 seasons now and his upside is pretty clearly a #4 or #5 starter (very similar to Arroyo). If there were another starting pitcher to trade for top talent, I would suggest Cueto (but his injury history is probably hurting his value now). I would rather sign Bailey long term and trade Cueto. But, again, my suggestion above is to trade Leake to help address short and long term holes in their current roster and system.

  14. DaveCT

    Got it. Have to disagree in that Leake and Maholm are (and will be) equal value pitchers. Given what Leake brings in the #4/5 role, and could continue to bring for some years at a decent price, I think he is more valuable and should be kept until another Arroyo/Leake type emerges, i.e. Moscot. Leake is a solid starting pitcher, a great athlete, fieldshis position exceptionally well, hits very well, and is very durable. I do not know Maholm that well and can be corrected. However, I question weakening the #5 spot, or higher if there is an injury, for Didi, especially when we have Cozart.

    Denorfia on the other hand would be a great acquisition to provide a bridge to Hamilton. I do think he profiles as a #4 OF on a championship club, and a good one at that, perhaps not to low on a non-contender. maybe we could trade Did for Denorfia and see if anyone notices when the latter comes to our camp in February …