Say It Aint Charboneau!—Indians Hope Grady Contract Won't Label Them 'You Big Dummy'
by Mike Carminati
The Indians today locked up Grady Sizemore, a veteran of a season and a quarter, to a six year contract for a minimum of $23.45 M. The deal includes an option year at $8.5 M or a $500 K buyout (included in the $23.45 M). The Indians have essentially locked up the center fielder until he turns 30
This is the sort of strategysigning up youngsters to long-term dealsthat the Indians employed to perfection in the Nineties, becoming for a time perennial winners. I am surprised that Cleveland rushed to sign Sizemore so quickly, two years before he is arbitration eligible. But really the money that he would be getting each year would be relatively if he remains a serviceable starting position player (ergo the Joe Charboneau reference).
Here's a quick table for each of Sizemore's years until the contract expires with his age and salary (I'll be optimistic and use the non-buyout figure for 2012):
Thirty million or so by your thirtieth birthday? Sure, I'd take it.
It made me wonder what was the most any ballplayer made before turning 30. So I looked it up. It turns out that Sizemore won't even make the top ten:
Salary Under 30
So, yes, it's a gamble, but at least the Indians haven't mortgaged the farm. Maybe a big gamble is what it takes to win. It worked for them before. At least it'll make things interesting.
By the way, I couldn't resist the Fred G. Sanford reference in the title.