Red Sox announce Grady Sizemore deal, designate Brayan Villarreal
|01.22.14 at 7:57 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced their incentive-laden, one-year, $750,000 major league deal (which can increase to $6 million if he meets sundry incentives) with outfielder Grady Sizemore, who will compete with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the team’s everyday center field job in spring training. In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Sizemore, the team designated right-hander Brayan Villarreal – acquired from the Tigers in the July 30 three-team deal in which Boston parted with shortstop Jose Iglesias and acquired Jake Peavy — for assignment.
Villarreal appeared in just one game for the Sox, entering with the bases loaded in the extra innings of a tie game and promptly walking in the winning run. As a right-handed reliever who was out of options, Villarreal was the most obvious candidate to be designated to clear a spot for Sizemore.
Here is the team’s release:
The Boston Red Sox today signed three-time All-Star outfielder Grady Sizemore to a one-year contract through the 2014 season. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Brayan Villarreal was designated for assignment. Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.
The 31-year-old Sizemore has played eight major league seasons, all with the Cleveland Indians from 2004-11, batting .269 with 216 doubles, 43 triples, 458 RBI, 430 walks, and 601 runs scored. During that eight-year span, no other major leaguer reached both his totals of 139 homers and 134 stolen bases in 892 games.
Sizemore was named an American League All-Star in each of his last three full seasons from 2006-08. During that three-year stretch, he combined for a .279 batting average, a .380 on-base percentage, and a .499 slugging percentage. He also averaged 160 games played, appearing in all 162 Indians games in both 2006 and 2007.
Hampered by injuries over the last five years, he missed the past two seasons recovering from right knee and back surgeries. Before 2009, he had never been placed on the disabled list.
The left-handed batter has hit at least 20 home runs with at least 20 stolen bases in each of his four full major league campaigns from 2005-08, the most 20/20 seasons in Indians history. The only other players ever to record three 20/20 seasons within their first four years appearing in the big leagues are Darryl Strawberry (1984-86) and Bobby Bonds (1969-71).
From 2006-09, Sizemore ranked second in the American League with 426 runs and 276 extra-base hts (Alex Rodriguez, 438 runs; David Ortiz, 291 extra-base hits). He was the only AL player to score at least 100 runs in each of those four campaigns.
Sizemore led the majors with 134 runs, 53 doubles (tied, 1st in AL), and 92 extra-base hits in 2006. With 11 triples and 28 home runs that year, he became just the fourth player with a 50-double, 10-triple, 25-homer season, along with Hall of Famers Joe Medwick (1937), Chuck Klein (1932), and Lou Gehrig (1927).
In 2008, he became the 10th player in AL history to put together a 30-homer/30-stolen base season (33 HR, 38 SB) and earned a spot on the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Team.
The Indians’ leadoff hitter for most of his career, Sizemore led the AL in pitches seen in three consecutive seasons from 2006-08 and has averaged 4.0 pitches per plate appearance in his big league career. He is Cleveland’s all-time franchise leader with 22 leadoff home runs.
Exclusively a center fielder in his major league career, Sizemore earned back-to-back Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in 2007 and 2008. His lifetime .993 fielding percentage ranks second all-time among AL outfielders with at least 800 games played.
Sizemore was originally a third-round selection by the Montreal Expos in the 2000 June Draft. In 11 career postseason games, all with the Indians in 2007, the Seattle, WA native owns a .279 average (12-for-43) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, and eight walks.
Villarreal, 26, was acquired from the Detroit Tigers last July 30 as part of the three-team trade that brought Jake Peavy from the White Sox to the Red Sox. He combined to allow 10 runs in 4.1 innings in the major leagues last year with the Tigers (7 games) and Red Sox (1), and also made 35 minor league relief appearances between Detroit’s Triple-A Toledo, Boston’s Triple-A Pawtucket, and a rehab stint with Short-A Lowell. The right-hander is 4-8 with a 4.56 ERA (38 ER/75.0 IP) and 86 strikeouts in 74 career major league outings from 2011-13.
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