FORT MYERS, Fla. — Grady Sizemore’s long journey back from a series of injuries that almost ended his promising career is complete: He will be the Boston Red Sox’s starting center fielder on opening day.
The three-time All-Star, who played at Cascade High School in Everett, is set to play for the World Series champions Monday at Baltimore.
“It’s very exciting,” Sizemore said Friday. “It’s been a long road for me and I’m happy to keep moving forward and to be in this position for this team.”
Sizemore beat out highly regarded prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. for the starting job. The Red Sox said Friday that Bradley will begin the season at Class AAA Pawtucket.
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Sizemore has not played in the majors since September 2011 with Cleveland. He has undergone seven operations since 2009, including surgery on both knees, his back and elbow.
Sizemore, 31, hit .333 in spring training, going 13 for 39 with a home run, two doubles, three walks and four strikeouts. He held up well in the outfield, playing 82 innings.
Before his injuries, Sizemore was one of baseball’s most dynamic players. A left-handed batter, he hit 20 or more home runs with 20 or more stolen bases in each of his first four full seasons, from 2005-08.
Trout agrees to deal
LOS ANGELES — Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed Friday night to a $144.5 million, six-year contract, keeping baseball’s brightest young star under club control through 2020.
The Angels said the 22-year-old outfielder and his family will be at a news conference Saturday in Anaheim to formally announce the contract along with owner Arte Moreno, manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto.
Trout agreed on Feb. 26 to a $1 million, one-year contract for 2014, much more than the Angels were required to offer him. His new deal runs from 2015-20.
Tougher penalties for drug violations
NEW YORK — In the wake of the Biogenesis scandal that led to 14 suspensions last summer, Major League Baseball and its players’ union announced they are toughening penalties and increasing the frequency of testing in the most substantial revisions to their drug agreement in eight years.
Players suspended during the season for a performance-enhancing drug violation will not be eligible for that year’s postseason. In addition, discipline will increase from 50 games to 80 for a first testing violation and from 100 games to a season-long 162 for a second. A third violation remains a lifetime ban.
In-season random urine tests will increase from 1,400 to 3,200 overall, and offseason tests will rise from 250 to 350.
There will be 400 random blood collections used to detect human growth hormone.
• San Francsico pitcher Tim Lincecum, a former UW star, escaped what appeared to be a serious injury with only a bruised left knee in his final spring start.
Now, he hopes he won’t miss his first outing of the regular season, scheduled for Thursday at Arizona.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner left Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics after going down writhing in pain when he was hit on the inside of his knee by a grounder from Daric Barton.