The Indians have resigned Grady Sizemore to a one year contract worth $5 million with incentives up to $9 million. Grady is a very popular player, but has been missing in action due to injuries for the better part of the last two seasons.
The Tribe had an opportunity to allow Grady to walk and focus their attentions on other outfielders, including the very talented Michael Brantley.
Brantley had a mediocre year in 2011 on an offensively challenged team. He batted .266 with 7 HRs and 46 RBI. As a leadoff hitter, he had a fairly weak 63 runs scored with only 34 walks.
But, Grady’s production wasn’t much better. While Brantley may improve with more experience, Grady will have to struggle to return to his production from his early years.
Is He Worth the Money?
The big question is whether the Tribe should have gone with Brantley in center and spent the big money on someone who can help them more. There is the issue of Grady’s fan appeal. Will he sell additional tickets?
Even if he does, it has to be a lot of tickets to justify the salary on that basis. I am guessing because of all the discounts the Tribe throws around, but if the average ticket price is $25, it means Grady has to sell 200,000 tickets to justify that minimum salary.
Yes, I know a lot more goes into the calculation (TV, concessions, those Grady’s Ladies T-shirts) but it still means that Grady has to be either very productive, or very popular.
It might have been a lot smarter moneywise to go with Brantley.