BOSTON — Grady Sizemore’s on-field performance with the Red Sox was forgettable. The impression the veteran outfielder left on the club’s coaching staff and front office was anything but.
The Red Sox designated Sizemore for assignment Tuesday, all but ending the 31-year-old’s comeback bid with Boston. Manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington both spoke highly of Sizemore, praising the three-time All-Star’s work ethic amid an unusual set of circumstances in which he was trying to return following a three-year hiatus due to injuries.
“Grady Sizemore is about all the good things in this game,” Farrell said before Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. “From his performance, to the person he is, to his work ethic, the way he plays the game. He’s an exceptional person. This is a tough decision to part ways with a guy of his caliber. And though he’s trying to do something that I don’t know if it’s been done in the game before, we commend him on his work ethic and trying to get back to the level previous.”
Sizemore hit .216 with two homers, 15 RBIs and a .288 on-base percentage in 52 games this season. Not only was he a shell of the player who once earned three straight All-Star selections with the Cleveland Indians from 2006 through 2008, but he also looked like a player still getting his feet under him following a long layoff. Given the resurgence of Daniel Nava and Brock Holt’s newfound ability to play the outfield, there simply wasn’t room for Sizemore with Shane Victorino set to return soon.
“It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen to the body, and since he hadn’t been through it, he may just need to go through it a little bit more and find himself,” Cherington said. “Unfortunately, we just weren’t in a position to give him more time. I hope he gets it somewhere else.”
Sizemore, in theory, could accept a minor league assignment and remain with the Red Sox organization if he’s unable to land a major league opportunity elsewhere. Cherington said the sides didn’t discuss the possibility Tuesday, though, and it sounds like a complete separation is inevitable.
“We’ll be rooting hard for him, and we’d all love to see him playing in the big leagues and playing well again, and hopefully that happens for him,” Cherington said.