The Red Sox have signed Grady Sizemore to a one-year, $750,000 major league contract that could grow to $6 million based on incentives. Rob Bradford of WEEI had the news first.
Sizemore very much fills the most glaring hole remaining on Boston's roster, providing depth at center field behind Jackie Bradley Jr. Sizemore's viability in center is a little questionable given his most recent performances, but those all date back to 2011, and involve a Sizemore of qustionable health.
Of course, the Red Sox can hardly depend on Sizemore to be healthy. Once a hugely promising player, Sizemore has seen his career all-but-ruined by knee injuries. But on a $750,000 contract to fill a role the Red Sox would otherwise simply not have filled, the very real possibility that Sizemore will play not a single game in Boston's uniform hardly counts as a risk at all.
Alex Speier tweets that Sizemore will compete with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the starting job:
Sizemore, according to a source, is being brought in to compete with Jackie Bradley Jr for CF job in spring training http://t.co/gUf8qKxnUy
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) January 23, 2014
It's hard to see that as much more than fluff, however. The job is Bradley's to lose, and it's going to be tough for him to lose it in spring training, particularly looking back at last year, when Bradley was so dominant in spring only to struggle out of the gate. We have been reminded all-too-recently that what happens in March is largely unrelated to what will happen from April onward.
It's a little strange that the Red Sox had to give Sizemore a guaranteed deal, but at $750,000 it's a luxury the team can easily afford. Really, the bigger cost for the Red Sox will come on the roster, where one of Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, or Daniel Nava will have to be found a new home to open a space on the 25-man. Brayan Villarreal is an easy enough cut from the 40, but the writing has been on the wall that the Red Sox would have to make a tough decision if they wanted to avoid an awkward situation with center field depth.