Cody Ross Seeking Three-Year, $25MM Deal

ESPN's Buster Olney reports that in negotiations between Cody Ross and the Red Sox, Ross and his agents at SFX were seeking a contract in the three-year, $25MM range (Twitter link).

Ross signed a one-year, $3MM contract with the Red Sox last winter in hopes of rebuilding his value and re-entering the market in search of a multi-year deal. He did just that, slugging 22 homers and putting up a solid .267/.326/.481 batting line in 130 games for the BoSox.

Ross' 2012 season is comparable to the 2011 season enjoyed by Josh Willingham when he was with the Athletics. Willingham hit .246/.332/.477 with 29 homers for the A's that season and was rewarded with a three-year, $21MM contract by the Twins. Ross didn't post as gaudy of a home run total, but he also posseses the ability to play center field in a pinch and has a better defensive reputation in general.

Despite a glaring home-road split (.232/.294/.390 away from Fenway Park), Ross has likely positioned himself as a candidate for a multi-year deal. He'll be going up against the likes of Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, Torii Hunter and Ichiro Suzuki in this year's free agent class for corner outfielders.

73 Responses to Cody Ross Seeking Three-Year, $25MM Deal Leave a Reply

  1. JT91theFuture 3 years ago

    A career year for a player on the wrong side of 30? This spells trouble, but someone will bite, naturally.

    • Wek 3 years ago

      Do you even know what “a player on the wrong side of 30″ means? He is only 31, 32 in December. If 31-32 is the wrong side what is the good side of 30? Just 30?

      • sarcasm_robot 3 years ago

        is this a trick question

      • stl_cards16 3 years ago

        Seriously? What is the other side of 30? That would be the good side.

        Hint: 30 only has 2 sides?

      • JT91theFuture 3 years ago

        Man, that’s deep…

      • alan104 3 years ago

        The good side of 30 is 28-29.

      • rkmarx 3 years ago

        Apparently you don’t. There are 2 sides to 30, and they are “above” and “below”. The “wrong side of 30″ would be above 30. 31 is above 30. Ipso facto, 31 is on the wrong side of 30.

        Your vote should count less than mine.

  2. MSUcorner 3 years ago

    Platoon 4th OF signing for 3 years? Players or agents are getting crazier by the day.

    • JT91theFuture 3 years ago

      Not to mention his splits away from Fenway are rather startling. .921 OPS at home versus the low .600’s away

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        Still doesn’t make him a platoon player. Unless by Platoon, you mean only play when his team plays at Fenway.

        • JT91theFuture 3 years ago

          Never said he was a platoon player. Even though at this stage in his career, I do believe that would suit him better. Either way, those splits should be a glaring red flag for any team looking to invest big bucks in this guy

      • MSUcorner 3 years ago

        Yeah. Those splits were very troublesome. Only a team with a park that heavily favors dead-pull righties with warning track power should be interested. I just don’t see his extremely limited tool set as being worth 3 years or that many dollars. Maybe sox will be kind to him and go 2/$10M

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        By that stat, Carlos Gonzales is a platoon player.

        • JT91theFuture 3 years ago

          Shades of Dante Bichette

        • hoagiebuchanan 3 years ago

          He might as well be. CarGo is a straight-up replacement player outside of Coors Field. Look it up.

          • Dylan 3 years ago

            So you’re saying he might as well be a platoon player that only plays at home? That’d be interesting…

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      Platoon? Yes, he hits lefties better, but he still his righties at around a .260 clip. I don’t think I would consider him a platoon player. That, and he hit 22 HR’s last year.

  3. Dylan 3 years ago

    I see a 2/15 deal for him. Maybe someone will give him an option for a third year.

    • Shaun Newkirk 3 years ago

      2/15 might even be too much.

      His production is worth $5,000,000 a year are most. There are some near replacement level guys as good as him. Can’t field, can’t run the bases, and really can’t hit besides last year.

      Good job Red Sox. Pass on him.

      • LazerTown 3 years ago

        I agree. 15-20 hr .320 obp RFers are very easy to replace. Especially considering that he isn’t very good in the field. There really is no need to be paying him $8M a year.

  4. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    No way the Red Sox give into those demands. Smart to let him walk.

  5. 55saveslives 3 years ago

    He wanted 3 yrs from the Giants as well before settling for 1 yr 3 mill from Sox.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      He’s just like advertised and the reason wanted him from my “other” favorite team 5 years ago.. Dead pull hitter (FB) without massive power.. Yep.. he isn’t going to crush the ball at SF, then how many people are? THAT is a pitcher’s park.. Fenway is a hitter’s park and if not for that wonky new and redesigned pressbox from 20Y ago? The guy would have had a lot more than 22HR last year, cause it blocked the wind when it blows out, like when petrocelli used to hit all those bombs (over 200) with cheap-O HR and .89 when Nick Esasky hit 30+ out of the blue for them.

      Ross is in the perfect stadium to play half his games.. he leaves? His HR numbers will drop, even if he goes to Baltimore or Arlington.

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

        Thank you again for making sense. Here you talk about whether this is the right player for this team and park, and not whether the rumored contract would be an “overpay.” Maybe if fans spent more time discussing the game of baseball and less on the business of baseball, we’d get into fewer pointless debates. Pie in the sky, I know…

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          A park has the ability to make, or break a player, even ressurect the career of some like we have seen many times as fans BlueSky.

          Am sure you also look over players and hope certain ones eventually find their way to LA to play so that they can take advantage of the confines of Chavez Ravine.. derek Lowe was a wonderful example of a guy on the ropes in a terrible situation for him (Fenway) where he had to be exact with everything and the minute he lost that ability? needed the change of scenerery where at least missing his spots on occasion would not lead to balls landing off of a LF wall and LA was that answer.

          Ted Lilly as well and think Crawford is going to be another who has massive speed and going to be able to use the gaps well.

          Fans all too often here leave out the stadium factor..Agreed 100%. They look at what a certain player did at 1 stadium and figure that they can do it anywhere and in many situations it just isn’t the case at all.

          Both of us catch some flack for going “back in time” with examples of players over the years as examples, along with modern day ones to back it up, but many just don’t wish to look into it further and refuse the stadium (home) tilted theme of it all for certain players when they find a perfect situation.

    • withpower 3 years ago

      He had a multi-year deal on the table from Atlanta. He turned it down to sign with Boston because he liked the opportunity for him on that team.

  6. RB_GScott 3 years ago

    It’s nice to want things

    • alan104 3 years ago

      Yep, and if you want something bad enough you usually get it.

  7. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

    As someone wrote someone will bite, but at 8.33 million a year doubtful.
    He’s even asking for more than he asked for last year.
    I believe he was looking for 2 yrs at 6 million a piece.
    Again I will use the JJ Hardy example 3 yrs at 7 mill a piece.
    Cody Ross is a nice ball player, I just don’t think he will get anywhere near what he is asking and he isn’t as valuable as Hardy is. At least that’s the way I feel about it.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      He isn’t worth it, but it seems like this year could be handing out alot of mediocre free agents some big bucks. He is probably looking at the people that are “predicting” 100/6 for Upton, and whatever Victorino, Pagan, Ichiro, Hunter sign for, because they make up that 2nd tier of outfielders below Swish and Hamilton.

  8. gwell55 3 years ago


    .256 .308 .422 with a .729 ops against righties that is certainly a LH platoon number and anyone Gm who thinks that is good enough for full time work is a fool. Cody’s clubhouse presence aside that type of number might get him 2 at 11 at best. Nice that he can hit lefties at fenway but 129K in 528 Ab will kill his chances for more unless he finds a blind gm to take him. Bobby V and his early platooning of him last yr made his numbers look even this passable.

  9. towney007 3 years ago

    Ross is a really good platoon player, but that’s about it. Much of his value was actually tied up in Fenway, so there’s no point in the Red Sox paying for what they already have. 2 years, $10-12 million is really the best Cody could hope for. I can see him bombing in another non-hitter-friendly park.

    .232./.294/.390 on the road in general. Against righties on the road he hit .215/.254/.338. That’s not bad, that’s non-existent bad. He was a nice value pairing with Sweeney but anyone who thinks this guy is a full time MLB player is on drugs. Taking into account his below-average-at-best fielding and atrocious base running, $6 million/year might even be an overpay.

    He looked good against a terrible backdrop, but he’s not worth anywhere near what he’s asking for. Seeing the Red Sox pass makes me feel pretty good. For all their good moves over the years, they’ve always been particularly bad at overplacing their bets when they win with a flier or too. In fact, they’ve been as good as anyone at taking really fantastic deals and turning them into outright liabilities (see Lowell, Mike) by doling out unnecessary extensions. If I’m a Red Sox fan, passing on Ross is a relief.

  10. NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

    What was that stuff the Yankees “told” Jeter to take? Reality potion?

  11. East Coast Bias 3 years ago

    2/12 is the max I see Ross getting.

  12. northsfbay 3 years ago

    You have to wait for Ross’s price to come down. He asked for 3 years, last year,

  13. withpower 3 years ago

    I seem to be in the distinct minority.

    I really like Cody Ross and this is right about what I would pay for him. What he did this year is identical to what he did in 2008 and 2009 [while playing his home games in Pro Player Stadium]. It’s not some kind of career year. He’ll do this in any park that trends towards hitters [and there are many in the major leagues].

    For all the hand wringing about his platoon splits, he still hit 10 of his homers off of RHP at a .256/.308/.422 clip. Outside of the .308 OBP, he was a perfectly league average hitter. He is not a 4th OF or a straight platoon player.

    His worst years have still produced roughly league average OPSs and double digit home run totals. Good teams who need OF help should be calling to express interest.

    • Stoibs 3 years ago

      Three years is pretty steep for that production though. If he was asking for 2/15 he’d have a much better case.

      • withpower 3 years ago

        Maybe do 2/19MM with a 3rd year vesting option for 6MM. It’s up to the teams to decide what their budget is, how much they want the player, what they project him doing, etc.

        I’m just saying I think Cody Ross is a very good bet to repeat this level of production going forward and he can handle himself in the OF. I think there is a tendency to think that teams are just going to pluck someone out of the minor leagues or whatever and they are going to get an .800 OPS at the MLB level when it’s very rarely that easy.

        • Stoibs 3 years ago

          Oh I agree. I don’t think what he is asking is that unreasonable I would just way rather have Willingham at 3/21 than Ross at 3/25. I think 2/15 with third year oprtion at 6-7.5 mill is more than fair for a player like Ross. That puts him in line with Willingham.

          • withpower 3 years ago

            You also have to factor in salary inflation. $20MM+ doesn’t necessarily buy what it used to.

          • Voice_of_Reason 3 years ago

            so true … gets you 1 year of Carl Crawford

          • rkmarx 3 years ago

            To think – I could’ve lived off 20MM a couple years ago. Today, I’d really have to cut back.

            Note: I’m not attacking you at all – just pointing out that professional players make a ridiculous amount of money, and I for one am extremely jealous. The only difference between me and any of them is that they’re good at something. Sigh.

        • Shaun Newkirk 3 years ago

          Well one thing he can’t do is handle himself in the field. Career 0.2 FLD in 10 seasons. Not good. And let’s not kid ourselves. A .320 OBP is not good and that’s consistently what he puts up every year. He doesn’t hit for average either and unless he is jacking 25+ HR a year, which he has the power to do so, he isn’t going to be anything more than a 6-7 slot guy. Maybe a 5 in a weak lineup. He also strikes out 20%+. Just not anywhere near worth $8,000,000 or any deal over 3+ years paying him anything more than $5,000,000 AAV.

          • withpower 3 years ago

            OBP has been trending downward for years in the MLB. A league average OBP is right around .320. It is what it is.

            And I think it’s stretching it a bit to say he doesn’t hit for average. He doesn’t hit for high average but he is a career .262 hitter. He isn’t Carlos Pena over here.

          • Shaun Newkirk 3 years ago

            If you are going to pay a guy $8,000,000 a year you need to be expecting, and not settling for, league average. Especially in a stat as important as OBP.

            And if .260 is getting it done for that price then what are we paying the guys who are hitting .280+…

          • Warboss74 3 years ago

            A 0.2 FLD would mean he’s league average, and it’s dragged down by his last few seasons as an everyday CF. He rates out much better as a RF defensively. I’m not saying he should get 3 year $25 M. I wouldn’t give him more than 1 year $4-5 M w/ an option.

          • Shaun Newkirk 3 years ago

            He’s got multiple seasons of negative UZR/150 at rightfield. 4 being greater than -10 and 2 being greater than -20.

            His short stint in right in 2005 with the Dodgers (52 Inn with 78UZR) 08 with the Marlins (153 Inn with 25 UZR) may have helped him because the small sample size spread out over 150 isn’t as good a determination as 400 innings spread out to 150 games.

            Sure maybe he could be a league average RF, but he trends to be a below league average RF, a well below average LF, and a complete liability in CF.

          • Warboss74 3 years ago

            Have you looked at the innings played in each season? He only has 3 seasons of 400+ innings in RF. (2009, 2010, and 2012) In those 4 seasons where his UZR/150 was below -10, he never saw more than 268 innings in RF. (2011) Extrapolating 400 innings of UZR doesn’t give you a good idea at all of the kind of defender someone is. It is widely acknowledged that it takes 3 full seasons of defensive metrics to get a good idea of a player’s defensive ability.

    • Warboss74 3 years ago

      He is a platoon RF, though. A .256/.308/.422/.729 in a hitter friendly ballpark is well below average for a RF. If he could still play CF defensively, he’d be an everyday player.

  14. SublimeOne 3 years ago

    I am also seeking a 3/$25M deal if anybody’s interested…..but I’d probably settle for a 1 year $5m deal if need be.

  15. whosurpapa 3 years ago

    Ross is a platoon player. He cannot hit RHP. Too much money for that. He is a good match for Fenway, The only way he gets this contract if the sox can match him with a real inexpensive LH platoon (ie. Kalish). I say 2 years 12 mil, 3rd year team option.

    • withpower 3 years ago

      Was he a good match for Pro Player Stadium when he had identical years in 2008 and 2009?

      He hit .256/.308/.422 with 10 HR against RHP this year. That doesn’t scream “platoon player” to me. He was pretty much league average against RHP and murdered LHP.

      Platooning Cody Ross with some kid who’s minor league career OPS [.794] is around what Cody Ross regularly does in the show doesn’t sound like the best idea to me.

      • whosurpapa 3 years ago

        I am basing my opinion not only on stats, but on the majority of the Sox games I saw. He seemed out match by RHP. I agree that Kalish has much to prove, but hopefully he will start to shine in ST. Ross did have some clutch hits and seems to enjoy playing for the sox, but I like to see how Sands does in ST as well.

  16. 3 years and 25 mil is big overpay for ross. i rather the red sox take a flier on ichiro, melky cabrera, or shane victorino.

    • whosurpapa 3 years ago

      Please no to Victorino and Ichiro. Both are on rapid declines. Melky would be nice, but comes with a lot of “baggage”.

  17. northsfbay 3 years ago

    You have to wait for some of these free agents price to come down. Some of the free agents are over pay.

  18. burnboll 3 years ago

    18 mil for 3 years is reasonable on both parts. Never was a fan of Ross, ideally think Red Sox should have him for 2 years, but a 3 year deal for 6 mil/year is fair, and suggests that Ross will be able to provide above average.

  19. Ozzie65 3 years ago

    2 year deal at 15M is about the ceiling. Would not give him a 3 year deal at any price.

  20. dc21892 3 years ago

    I thought 3/21 was an over pay to just get it done and keep him around until the partial rebuild is over but 3/25? I’d rather them go after Hamilton and try to give him 30M the first two years and 25M after that for 2 more. At least Hamilton gives some serious production. It probably won’t happen but it would be nice to have a big middle of the order bat since right now the offense is solid, but lacks some star power after Ellsbury (praying he has no freak injuries), Pedroia, Papi, Middlebrooks and maybe Salty as he puts together a few solid months and then is terrible at the plate. I liked Ross, but one solid season and he wants more than Willingham (who is a better player) got? Doesn’t make sense. Hope Boston goes after someone better or says no thanks and moves on to acquire a pitcher and use that extra money they saved on Ross to extend some of their current guys. Financially, they can do so many things this offseason. Should be interesting.

    • withpower 3 years ago

      What’s with all the various posters repeating this bizarre “career year” meme?

      Regardless of whether you think Cody Ross is worth paying or not — his 2012 was not a career year at all. He has had 2 previous seasons which were pretty much identical.

      Is it honestly that hard to click the link to his B-REF page and see what he’s done in his career?

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        What I’m saying is he got 3M last year, I know he had decent seasons in the past. But he had a team offer him 3M last year, and from what he gave last season, I don’t think that merits 3/25.

        • withpower 3 years ago

          He had a multi-year offer from Atlanta on the table that he turned down to sign with Boston. He settled for $3MM coming off a down year [a down year where he still managed a league average OPS and a 107 OPS+] in one of the most pitching oriented ballparks in the show.

          Cody Ross has been the player he was in 2012 in more seasons than he’s been the player he was in 2011. Frankly I was surprised he took the $3MM last year — but Cuddyer and Willingham were coming off better years and Ross wasn’t and they came off the board before he did. It is what it is.

          Ross is going to get his money this off-season.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      Willingham is better offensively but went for less due to his injury history and poor defense (he’s close to being DH-worthy).

      You can’t play Willingham in Fenway’s RF and expect to not give up lots of runs.

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        Ross wasn’t fun to watch either defensively. Just saying. I like him a lot, but I’m not sure 3/25 is worthwhile. I was at one of the better games Boston had and Ross hit a walk off homer. I’m a Ross fan, and appreciate what he did but 3/25? I don’t know. Not worth it IMO.

        • withpower 3 years ago

          It’s probably better, honestly, if Ross leaves Boston. Most likely the team is going to be hot garbage again in 2013 and Cody would be better served going to winning franchise.

          Personally I’d love him in New York.

  21. Joeypower 3 years ago

    6/185 att Ned colletti

  22. Jason Richards 3 years ago

    Ross cant hit right handed pitching, but he wants 25 mill over three seasons? Yea good luck with that

  23. eric 3 years ago

    josh hamilton good for boston

  24. Goat_Rider 3 years ago

    LOL. That last line gave me shivers of dread

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