Grady Sizemore arrived in Fort Myers over the weekend. His quest to land a starting job with the Boston Red Sox officially is underway.
Sizemore made a four-hour visit to the Red Sox’s spring training complex Sunday, after which he spoke with reporters about the upcoming season. The outfielder, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2011, made it clear that he’s feeling good physically with camp set to open up next week.
“I’m happy to be healthy,” Sizemore said. “I’m good to go. There’ll be some things that I’ll be working on this spring trying to get back to 100 percent. I’m in good shape but not necessarily baseball shape, but I’m moving around good. I look forward to getting out there.”
Sizemore, whose one-year, $750,000 contract with the Red Sox could reach $6 million based on incentives, has had surgery on both knees, meaning he’s somewhat of a wild card going into the 2014 season. Sizemore once was one of baseball’s most productive players, but the three-time All-Star hasn’t played a full season since 2008.
“It’s all going to be bad, not bad but rusty,” Sizemore said of getting back into game action. “In the offseason, when you come in normally, you feel rusty, but then when you haven’t played for two years and the better part of four years I’ve been injured, my timing is going to be off.
“It’s going to be tough. I’m not going to get too frustrated, because I know I’m going to go through some bumps early. That’s expected.”
Sizemore might expect some bumps along the way, but that’s where the 31-year-old’s expectations end. Sizemore said he’s entering this season with an open mind, and that he’s just focused on preparing so he can make an impact in some capacity — whether it be in center field or at a corner outfield spot.
“I’m willing to play anywhere,” Sizemore said. “Coming back, whatever team I signed with I was going to do whatever was best for the team in whatever role they wanted me in. I have to evaluate myself to see how it looks and see how it feels. I hope to play all positions.”
Sizemore will compete with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the Red Sox’s starting center field job. But even if Bradley eventually lands the gig, Sizemore could play a big role for the Red Sox, whose 2013 World Series title was a direct result of the team’s depth.
Photo via Twitter/@bradfo