CLEVELAND -- Before the Indians target what pieces they want to add to their roster this offseason, they must make a decision on the future of center fielder Grady Sizemore. Before the club accepts or declines Sizemore's $9 million option for next season, however, the three-time All-Star must pay a trip to Vail, Colo., to assess the health of his balky right knee.
"That is a significant issue for us to decide," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "Depending on which direction we go there, it goes to the question of where else we may have some needs and the economic impact of that, too, in terms of the dollars we can allocate to improving the team elsewhere."
Sizemore, who hit .224 with 10 homers in 71 games, endured three stints on the disabled list this season. He sustained a right knee contusion in May, an injury he then aggravated in June. He also underwent surgery in June to correct a sports hernia.
The 29-year-old had microfracture surgery on his left knee last June and missed the start of this season. He played in just 210 games over the last three years after playing in 157 or more the previous four campaigns.
"When Grady is healthy, he's been a very productive Major League player," Antonetti said. "We even saw that this year when he came back from his microfracture surgery on his left knee. He was able to run and had a bunch of extra-base hits and home runs, and was a spark offensively for us when he returned. I think that's something we know, we just don't have clarity on how healthy he might be for next year."
Antonetti hinted that the team's decision would be much easier had Sizemore completed the season with a full bill of health. However, making another trip to the doctor who performed his previous microfracture surgery -- Sizemore will visit Dr. Richard Steadman on Monday -- puts the Indians in a wait-and-see mode.
"That will give us an opportunity to get some further clarity on that," Antonetti said. "Once we have more information, we can factor that in and weight it as part of the decision."