Cleveland's big Sizemore decision

Updated: October 6, 2011, 11:00 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Grady Sizemore had surgery on his right knee, and by all accounts doctors were encouraged by what they saw and feel good about his chances for coming back.

Now the Indians face a fascinating decision -- do they pick up Sizemore's $8.5 million option for 2012?

Here's why the Indians would pick up the option: Sizemore has demonstrated that when he plays regularly, he can be among the most dynamic center fielders in the majors. From 2005 to 2008, he hit 107 homers, drew 329 walks and stole 115 bases. In those four seasons, he missed a total of nine games, and while he's been wrecked by injuries in recent seasons and seemingly has been part of the baseball landscape for years, he's still only 29 years old and may have years ahead of him as a productive player. If the Indians cut him loose, there would be many teams lined up ready to offer him an opportunity. He would be a perfect gamble for large-market teams like the Red Sox or Yankees or Phillies, because if he gets back to being the type of player he was in the past, the payoff would be enormous.