The Nationals search for a leadoff center fielder just get a little narrower as the Cleveland Indians have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent Grady Sizemore. 1100-WTAM in Cleveland had the story and say an announcement should be made within the next 24 hours.
Sizemore was free to walk after the Indians declined his 8.5 million option last month and for a while it looked like he would sign elsewhere. But the three-time All-Star is returning and that changes the free agent landscape considerably, at least for the Nationals.
Sizemore was originally drafted by the Nationals' organization, he was selected by the Montreal Expos in the third round of the 2000 MLB Draft. In 2002 the Expos shipped Sizemore to Cleveland along with now-household names Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips in exchange for Bartolo Colon. Sizemore eventually broke out as a superstar and between the years of 2005 and 2008 won two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award. He earned MVP votes in each of those four seasons.
Since his promising start, however, Sizemore's career has been derailed by injuries. If the Nats were to have signed him he would carry tremendous upside countered by significant risk. But now he is an Indian once again and the Nationals will have to possibly make a trade or take a flier on one of the international outfield prospects such as Yoenis Cespedes or Norichika Aoki.
For more about the Nationals' options, read Mark Zuckerman's piece on who is left.