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Indians make Sizemore free agent

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians can no longer afford to wait for Grady Sizemore to get healthy. The team today declined Sizemore’s $9 million contract option for 2012, making the injury-plagued three-time All-Star center fielder eligible for free agency. The move with Sizemore was expected, as was the team’s decision to pick up starting pitcher Fausto Carmona’s $7 million option for next season. The Indians also have options on Carmona for 2013 and 2014. Injuries have sabotaged Sizemore’s career, limiting him to just 210 games the past three seasons. He has undergone five surgeries, two on his knees, in three years and is no longer a base-stealing threat. The Indians, who were in contention before collapsing in September when injuries up and down the roster took their toll, have been patient with the popular 29-year-old. However, they have decided it may be time to move on without Sizemore and use some of the money that could have gone to him to use in free agency. It’s possible the club may try to re-sign Sizemore as a free agent, given their lack of quality outfield depth. With little to choose from at Triple-A Columbus, the Indians may offer Sizemore a one-year, incentive-laden deal. The club needs another starting outfielder to play with Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo, who are also coming off injury-shortened seasons.

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