BOSTON -- The Red Sox didn't sign free-agent outfielder Grady Sizemore until Wednesday, but he was somebody on their radar for most of the offseason.
"Grady is someone we talked to early and kind of kept in touch with,'' said general manager Ben Cherington. "Over the last 10 days or so, we increased our contact with him, saw him a couple of times in Arizona, spent some time with him. We just felt like it was a good fit. It made sense to Grady and made sense to us.
"We're bringing in a guy who's obviously been a great player and missed some time. What we're looking to do is put him in the best position we can to resume his playing career. I think he'll know more about how he feels as we get into March and spring training. We'll see how it goes.''
Jackie Bradley Jr. is also a candidate for center field. He played sporadically during a few callups and was thought to be the starter in center until Sizemore was added to the organization.
But when asked whether Sizemore is insurance for Bradley or someone who might become the everyday starting center fielder, Cherington wouldn't specify what role the Sox envision for Sizemore.
"Everyone here knows who [Sizemore] was when he was in his prime,'' said Cherington. "That player fits on any team, including ours, certainly. What we and he need to learn from spring training is how he feels as he gets back into everyday baseball activity. That's going to tell us a lot about what makes sense - what makes sense for him and for us.
"We're not going to put any limitation on him, certainly. We certainly see a lot of potential there. He knows how good he can be when he's feeling good physically when he's out there. We're going to do whatever we can to give him that opportunity. We'll just have to see.
"We weren't making any proclamations about the Opening Day roster before signing Grady and we're not going to do that now. But we're certainly glad that he's here.''