CF Grady Sizemore
The Indians could use some help in the outfield, and if Grady Sizemore played in this era and not the Eric Wedge Era, the Tribe would have a great multi-faceted outfielder. Sizemore had speed, power, a great defender, could hit for average and was the pinnacle of what you’d want in an athlete. Yes, as his career went on the injuries mounted, but if we’re talking prime-players, Sizemore was someone that could easily slide into the center field spot of the defense and done gangbuster.
He’d be replacing Jordan Luplow (IR) and Bradley Zimmer as the starting centerfielder and while Luplow’s been fine, especially with the power, Sizemore averaged 26 home runs from 2005 to 2008, while hitting .281 at the same time. That type of power and average in today’s game is a lost art. More players are defaulting to a “home run or bust” mentality and it’s hurting their careers and their teams.
Sizemore did struggle with strikeouts but it wasn’t to such a degree as it’s becoming now. While he led the team in strikeouts more than once, he was also near the top in working counts for walks as well, usually finishing near the top of the heap, even leading the team on an occasion.
Since this is the “swap” game, more or less, it’d be hard to find anyone who wouldn’t swap Sizemore with Luplow or Zimmer at this point. Even if you know you’re only getting four good-great years with Sizemore, that’s more than either man has provided for the Tribe so far in their careers, so it’s an easy call.