The Cleveland Indians are making moves - and decisions on center fielder Grady Sizemore and right-handed pitcher Fausto Carmona have been made. They're reportedly declined the 2012 club option for Sizemore, making him a free agent, and have exercised their option on Carmona. The decision itself is a mixed bag, as both players have something to offer, but there were a number of factors to consider.
For one, Sizemore's option was worth $9 million, and his five surgeries over the last three years don't inspire much confidence - at least not $9 million's worth. He only appeared in 71 games last season. Sizemore is immediately a free agent, while Carmona wasn't eligible for free agency to begin with. They'll buyout Sizemore's contract for $500,000 instead of giving him the $9 million. Cleveland holds exclusive negotiating rights until Thursday, but Sizemore is likely to hit the open market, regardless.
Instead of going to arbitration with Carmona, where they would probably end up paying less, they've exercised his $7 million option. Carmona hasn't yet matched his 19-win season in 2007, and regressed this past season, going 7-14 with a 5.25 earned run average. It's the second-highest ERA in a single season for a pitcher with at least 32 starts in Cleveland Indians franchise history.
Still, the Indians had to keep one of them, and it just wasn't ideal to keep Sizemore at that figure, regardless of past contributions.