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A’s Interested in Sizemore?

November 12, 2011


The newest rumor with the A’s looking to replenish their depleted outfield comes from Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated who tweeted,

[Grady] Sizemore looking for [Adrian] Beltre/Boston-type deal: 1 yr to reprove self. Oak likes him but sees risk due to $ & health”

Now we should take things from Heyman with a grain of salt. As Sam Miller of the Orange County Register tweeted to me in response to a question regarding which scoops are most inaccurate,

“Heyman is great at breaking news but has fairly low threshold for publishable intel; same w/ most who do rumors full time.”

I just can’t believe in the accuracy of this rumor. I know there have been arguments advocating Grady Sizemore being  a signing for the A’s. The logic being, here is a kid looking to rebuild value, the A’s can afford a “talent” they might not otherwise be able to afford, yaddy yaddy ya. I get that logic, but let’s ground ourselves in reality for a minute here. Let’s do it with these numbers: 0.927, 0.966, 0.897 and 0.786. Those four numbers represent how the Coliseum suppress hits, doubles, triples and home runs respectively. Heyman notes that Sizemore is interested in a one-year deal to rebuild his value, that makes absolute perfect sense and I presume he and his agent are in fact looking to do that. Why on earth would you do that in an environment that will so significantly suppress your offensive output and thereby depress your future paychecks?

It doesn’t appear as if Sizemore is without suitors either, so the A’s would have to overpay for the risk of signing Sizemore. The Indians rightfully so declined an option on Sizemore worth $8.5M for this upcoming season. The Indians who possess all of Sizemore’s medical records, therefore they are a team who can make the most informed decision on Sizemore felt that the odds of him being worth about 1.8 WAR (merely an everyday starter type quality) were so remote, that they opted to not re-sign him. Can you blame them? Let’s look at the recent history of Sizemore. After making the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2007 with the quote on the front of “he’s without doubt one of the greatest players of our generation” he has been far from the greatest of players even on the Cleveland Indians. 2007 was a great year for Sizemore, a 6.2 WAR campaign which he followed up with an even better 2008 posting 7.4 WAR. But then came the injuries and by 2009 he slumped to 2.0, in 2010 he fell to -0.3 only to rebound last year to 0.2. There is a line of thinking that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. Well Sizemore’s recent past shows he is barely a replacement player. People will argue, he has been hurt and he most assuredly has – and injuries make it hard to build up counting stats like wins above replacement and they also can be responsible for things like Sizemore’s shockingly high K% (30.0% in 2011). But at the same time, a big part of being a great player in a marathon like sport like baseball is health and longevity. There are plenty of players who have been incredible but long-term just couldn’t cut it. Don Mattingly, Jose Canseco, Albert Belle, Kerry Wood to name a few are some who succumb to injuries that robbed what would have otherwise potentially been clear Hall of Fame careers. Sizemore simply put can’t stay healthy. In the past three seasons he has played in 210 games or in other words, 43.2% of Cleveland’s games. That is being generous too, because if we look at the most recent history, in the past two seasons he has played in a mere 104 games or 32.1% of the Indians’ contests.

Why should Oakland, a team that has battled injury problems for years now, sign onto a guy who can’t even participate in a third of their scheduled games possibly? All of this ignores the fact that recently when Sizemore has been on the field he just simply hasn’t been that great. Since a solid though injury shortened 2009 campaign when he posted a .343 wOBA, his wOBA has fallen to .254 in 2010 before rebounding to a still anemic .302 last year. Furthermore the great range that Sizemore featured that made him an exciting center fielder has been completely absent the last three years as one would expect given the injuries with him posting a -8.9 UZR/150 in that time.

Oakland should see risk due to his health! They should see risk in that Cleveland – team with a similar financial structure to Oakland’s – did not opt to sign him to an $8.5M option. Let someone else take the risk on Sizemore, our money can be – quite easily – better spent elsewhere.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2011 3:06 am

    One year. That is all.

    • November 12, 2011 3:14 am

      What would be the point? I’d rather throw that money into Aoki or Cespedes,

  2. November 12, 2011 7:02 pm

    is EVERYONE interested in this guy?

    • November 12, 2011 7:05 pm

      I think so. Colorado voiced interest today and if I am Sizemore or his agent and I want to rebuild value the thin air of Denver is the place to do it.

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