The Cleveland Indians are likely to decline their option on center fielder Grady Sizemore, making the 29-year-old a free agent as baseball's offseason begins, according to a story by Jordan Bastian on MLB.com.
The move would free up $8.5 million for the Indians, according to Bastian, as Sizemore is due $9 million and has a $500,000 buyout in his contract.
Sizemore has been to three All-Star games and is a fan-favorite in Cleveland, but has seen his career dogged by injuries -- most recently a sports hernia and a right knee injury, and those on the heels of a left knee injury that required microfracture surgery and 10 months of rehab work. That sort of injury history takes its toll, and Bastian reports that Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti views Sizemore's future production as a gamble:
"It's really hard to speculate on that," Antonetti said at the end of the season. "We even saw that this year when he came back from his microfracture surgery on his left knee. He was able to run and had a bunch of extra-base hits, had home runs, and really was a spark offensively for us when he returned. That's something we know."
Sizemore last played a full MLB season in 2008.