Free Agent Stock Watch: Cody Ross

Cody Ross would have been better off hitting free agency last year, after the Giants won the World Series and Ross hit five postseason home runs on his way to winning the NLCS MVP. It's not that his season numbers are that different this year, but Ross would have had some buzz if he had hit free agency after his strong finish and postseason heroics in 2010. This year, San Francisco will in all likelihood miss the playoffs, so there's no way for Ross to supplement his pedestrian season stats.

Cody Ross

The 30-year-old outfielder has a .240/.325/.405 line with 14 homers in 461 plate appearances for the Giants this year, not far off of the .269/.322/.413 line and 14 homers he had for the Marlins and Giants a year ago. Yet Ross no longer seems critical to the Giants’ success, as he did a year ago.

To his credit, Ross raised his walk rate to a career-best 10.6% in 2011 and played all three outfield positions, marking the fourth time in the past five seasons that he has appeared in left, center and right.

Though he hoped for a long-term extension with the Giants as recently as this spring, reality has since set in. The Giants seem unlikely to offer Ross a raise from his current $6.3MM salary or sign off on a multiyear deal, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle

If the Giants are indeed hesitant to pay Ross more than $6.3MM, they may decide against offering arbitration after the season. Ross projects as a Type B free agent, which means San Francisco would obtain a top pick in next year’s draft if the New Mexico native declines their offer and signs elsewhere. 

Given Ross’ free agent prospects, he could receive encouragement from his representatives at SFX to accept should the Giants offer arbitration. If they don’t offer arbitration, he would appear to be in line for a one-year Major League deal on the open market. He has had enough success in his career, particularly against left-handers (career .912 OPS), for teams to guarantee him a few million dollars and a roster spot, but his luster has disappeared, so a multiyear deal would now be a coup for Ross and his agency.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.

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11 Comments on "Free Agent Stock Watch: Cody Ross"

3 years 11 months ago

Hope don’t stir up more ill will here (like on Dejesus post) but ross is another of those classic 4th OF types. Nothing more and certainly not worth anywhere near 6m. maybe 1/2 that tops.

I did like him a ton when he played with the Fish and he was a Fan favorite there as well, but he has skidded down hill fast offensively since and always was a corner OF playing CF.

3 years 11 months ago

I wouldn’t say it was a skid down hill in every full season he has had basically the same triple slash line. One year was a fluke with 90 rbi but he has always been the same player. 4th OF for good teams and starter for a second rate club. 

3 years 11 months ago

Bench player/ 4th OF  at best!

Bob George
3 years 11 months ago

Ross is a decent 4th OF, but he’s not starting OF quality and isn’t worth 1/3rd of his current salary.

3 years 11 months ago

You don’t think he’s worth $2.1M a year?  Durability, league-average defense, and a league-average bat (OPS+ last 4 years: 107, 104, 95, 105) in CF are nothing to sneeze at, especially when there are so few solid CFs available.  Crisp is the only one that comes to mind, and maybe Angel Pagan if the Mets non-tender him.  He should get at least $5M a year and probably a 2- or 3-year deal.

3 years 11 months ago

Coming off the WS win I think he could’ve easily gotten 2 years/$10-12MM but in his current position I’d still love to see the Giants re-sign him- or maybe the A’s for 1 year/$3MM with incentives that could take it back up to $6MM and a vesting or club option for $4MM that would also include statistical leverages that could either make it guaranteed and/or bump it up to $6MM.

He’s not worth much more than $6MM at his best, but he isn’t worth being written off, either.

3 years 11 months ago

I really like Ross as a person, he’s a good guy. However, I have to agree with the rest of the posters here that he’s basicly just a 4th OF.

3 years 11 months ago

Know him personally?

3 years 11 months ago

Ross was boss

Bled Orange
3 years 11 months ago

This off season is going to be tough for the giants fans because the possibility of guys like ross leaving. We fell in love with these guys last year and it’s hard to say you want to see them go. I believe Ross burrell and adfeld are all in this limbo this off season.

Don’t get me wrong its probably for the best. The giants desperately need to get younger and more consistant. But the whole city here has a huge soft spot for the guys who brought home the trophy for the first time in 56 years

3 years 11 months ago

It is a must if you guys don’t want to waste all that pitching while watching the bats try and squeeze out 2 or 3 runs