The Boston Red Sox have designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment, according to a report from WEEI.com's Alex Speier. In his place, infielder Garin Cecchini is being promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket, as we first reported was likely earlier this afternoon.
Sizemore, who was signed to an incentive-laden contract last offseason, has posted a .216 average with 2 HR and 15 RBI in 52 games so far this season. He has appeared at all three outfield spots for the first time in his career, and has shown only quick flashes of his old form as he attempted to come back to the majors for the first time since 2011.
Sizemore's signing was viewed as an experiment by the Red Sox, who hoped that he could become the player he was from 2006 to 2008, when he was named to the AL All-Star team in each season. Most commentators expected him to be cut in the near future, but today's news came as a surprise because Shane Victorino, who is dealing with injury, is not due back until next week.
Sizemore's incentive-laden contract called for him to earn bonuses based on plate appearances and days in the majors, so the Sox might have wanted to cut ties before having to pay him for lacking offensive production. Sizemore was 20 plate appearances away from earning a $250K bonus and twelve days away from earning an additional $250K based on days on the active roster, so today's move may be a cost-cutting one for the Red Sox.
Cecchini, 23, made his major league debut earlier this month, notching an RBI double before being optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket. He is hitting .263 with 2 HR and 24 RBI in 62 games with Pawtucket this season after being ranked by Baseball America as the organization's sixth-best prospect before the season.