Grady Sizemore will be with Indians a long time.
Outfielder Grady Sizemore today signed a six-year contract with the Indians that is intended to keep him in Cleveland at least through the 2011 season. It includes an $8.5 million club option for 2012 with a $500,000 buyout. If the option is exercised, the deal would total $31.45 million over seven seasons.
"This contract is a further demonstration of the partnership between our players and the Indians organization," general manager Mark Shapiro said. "We are committed to building and
sustaining a championship team and Grady, as one of the most talented young players in the game today, is the kind of player and person who can help lead us to that goal."
The 23-year-old had a breakout season in 2005, his first full year in the majors. He hit .289 (185-for-640) with 37 doubles, 11 triples, 22 homers and 81 RBI in
158 games. He also scored 111 runs and had 22 stolen bases to join Roberto Alomar in 2001 as the only Indians players to get 20 doubles, 10 triples, 20 homers and 20 steals in the same
His 185 hits led all second-year MLB players, just ahead of Pittsburgh's
Jason Bay (183). He tied for ninth in the American League in runs (111 with Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle).
Sizemore was acquired in June 2002 from Montreal in a six-player deal that sent right-hander Bartolo Colon to the Expos.
This spring, Sizemore is hitting .352 (19-for-54) with five doubles, an MLB-best five triples, one homer and 11 RBI in 16 games.
His contract is the longest signed by an Indians player since shortstop Omar Vizquel got a six-year contract in 1995.
Sizemore's deal is similar to contracts signed by catcher Victor Martinez (five years, $15.5 million) and shortstop Jhonny Peralta (five years, $13 million).
In Sizemore's case, his option price could increase to $10.5 million depending on whether he becomes an All-Star, wins a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger award, or how well he ranks in MVP voting.