They should take a risk.

The Mets have made a string of bad signings when it comes to aging, injured, unproductive  or otherwise scarred players. Moises Alou, Julio Franco, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo and Guillermo Mota. We could spend all day adding to the list.

SIZEMORE: Worth a risk.

It isn’t a great free-agent market, but there’s a name on the list worth rolling the dice with despite his recent injury history. The Cleveland Indians failed to exercise their option on outfielder Grady Sizemore, who, at 29, was once one of the game’s blossoming stars, but only played in 210 games the past three seasons.

A gamble, no question, but a thought keeps running through my head: What if he pans out?

Burdened by knee and abdominal injuries the past three years, Sizemore hit just .234 last summer, but prior to that was a three time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner. That’s a substantial resume; certainly better than any other Mets’ outfielder.

He could be signed to a short-term deal loaded with incentives, but there’s a big upside if he bounces back to close to his previous form.

“He’s open to anything,” Sizemore’s agent, Joe Urbon, told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s not limiting his choices at all. … He wants to have an opportunity that will allow him to show he’s still the elite player he’s been. In a perfect world, he’d love to play center field.”

I’d rather gamble on Sizemore bouncing back than Angel Pagan becoming a star, or even an average player for that matter. Pagan, who is arbitration eligible, could make close to $5 million. Conversely, had the Indians picked up Sizemore’s option they would have been on the hook for $8.5 million. So, in essence we’re talking about roughly a $3.5 gamble, which in today’s market isn’t significant, even for the frugal Mets.

Sizemore underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee four months ago to treat a bone bruise. Urbon said Sizemore’s recovery should be in a month, giving him enough time for rehab prior to spring training.

The Boston Herald reported the Red Sox might be interested if Sizemore is willing to move to right, which his agent said he would. The Washington Post reported the Nationals having interest. That will be just the beginning.

When healthy, Sizemore is a combination of power and speed, and during his eight-year career averaged 24 steals, 25 homers and 83 RBI. Considering his limited playing time the past three seasons, that’s impressive production.

The Mets are in a rebuilding mode and will undoubtedly not have Jose Reyes. They need to take some risks, and Sizemore is one worth taking.

11 thoughts on “They should take a risk.

  1. I’d inquire about Sizemore. He’s better at 85% than Pagan is fully healthy.

    The problem is, the ehalth issues are a big deal and I do not want to see Jason Pridie getting 100 starts.

  2. I’m on board with making a play for Sizemore. I’d consider offering a 2nd year $10m club option with a $1m buyout. If he rebounds you’ve got an attractive trade chip for next off-season. I don’t think going after Sizemore should preclude signing and trading Pagan. He won’t fetch much but perhaps a AA power bullpen arm with control issues is a realistic return. Load up with 4-5 of those guys and maybe one turns into a solid 8th inning guy.

    Only quibble is that I don’t see how the club “will undoubtedly not have Jose Reyes.” That seems like way too strong a read. I don’t think he’ll be back but I also don’t think there will be 3 clubs outbidding the Mets. They’re certainly not a favorite but they’re far from out of it yet.

  3. Imagine if we get Grady and Jose and both are healthy?

    I think there is a chance the team retains Jose. I would try and retain him as he is a very good player. Not special, but very good. He can of course price himself out, but we should try and keep him if possible, just don’t break the bank to do it.

  4. I don’t think Sizemore is a good sign at all unless the cost is very cheap with a lot of incentives. With the history of injuries this club has had the past couple of years that is the last thing this organization needs is to sign a injury prone outfielder for a ton of money. I think your analysis of paying $3.5 million more is not that much is incorrect. Maybe during Minaya’s tenure but I think Alderson is going to be much more fiscally responsible. $3.5 million to me is a decent bullpen arm which the Mets really need. I would rather roll the dice on Pagan and if he plays well trade him at the deadline since he is a free agent next year.

    John, I like your website. Good one for Mets fans.

  5. I dont get why every Mets fan hates pagan (except Glen who I hope will keep posting here.} In 2009 he was good and in 2010 he was very good. 2011 not great but not a disaster either. There is a lot of good outfield talent in the system. I would give Pagan another year and see what happens. Besides who else leads off when Jose is gone?

  6. Ray(6)

    In 2010 everyone thought Pagan had made it. He showed he has the tools to be a good CF. Unfortunately that year may be an aberration. He is an OK player. Good speed, he can play a good CF, can run the bases and has a bit of pop. But he is also injury prone and has his lapses mentally which at his age is unforgivable. He is the CF. He should know what the situation is and not throw to the wrong base.

    For these reasons although I am OK with having him back, his price keeps going up. So if the Mets choose to go in another direction I will not cry over it.

  7. cpins (3): I don’t think the Mets would sign both Sizemore and Pagan. I think they would take the money it would take to keep Pagan would be spent on the bullpen. … The contract you’ve suggested is reasonable for Sizemore. … There is a chance they’ll keep Reyes, but I think it is such a long shot.-JD

  8. Glen (5): Thanks for your response and kind words about my blog. I hope you’ll stop by often. … You’re right on the money in that $3.5 million could help the bullpen. Injuries are the concern for Sizemore as they are with retaining Reyes. However, Reyes’ package will pay far less. Thanks again.-JD

  9. Ray (6): Without Reyes, Pagan would lead off if he’s here. However, he’s not enamored with leading off. …. I think they could do better, but if he stays it wouldn’t be a catastrophe. There is a chance he could rebound. I don’t think Pagan was so much a disaster as that the expectations were so high.-JD