Red Sox To Sign David Ross

8:28pm: It's a two-year, $6.2MM contract, tweets Rosenthal.

7:49am: The Red Sox have agreed to sign catcher David Ross to a two-year contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The deal is still pending a physical. Ross is a Sports One Athlete Management client.

Uspw_6106010Over the last four seasons, the 35-year-old Ross has established himself as the best hitting backup catcher in baseball. He hit .269/.353/.463 with the Braves during that time, including .256/.321/.449 with nine homers in 196 plate appearances this year. Thanks in part to the presence of Brian McCann, Ross has not come to the plate even 200 times in a single season since 2007. He played with the Red Sox very briefly in 2008.

Rosenthal hears that Ross will be "more than a backup but not a starter" with Boston (Twitter link). The Red Sox already have Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway behind the plate, but the former hit just .170/.211/.283 against left-handers this year while the latter hit .157/.211/.248 overall in 166 late season plate appearances. Ross gives them a platoon partner for Salty while Lavarnway could continue to refine his game in Triple-A. As a right-handed hitter, Ross should benefit from playing in Fenway Park.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes did not rank Ross on his Top 50 Free Agents list. The backstop earned $1.625MM in each of the last two seasons, and he did not receive a qualifying offer from Atlanta. The Red Sox won't have to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. McCann may miss the start of next year following his offseason shoulder surgery, so the Braves will have to find a capable replacement for Ross.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

106 Responses to Red Sox To Sign David Ross Leave a Reply

  1. Fleer Carll 3 years ago

    Wren, how could you let this happen?

    • Lamar Smith 3 years ago

      I don’t know, but as a Red Sox fan I am glad he did.

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      $$$. No, I don’t necessarily agree with it, but he’d make more in these next 2 years than he did in 4 years in ATL. Maybe this is time to try out Evan Gattis in a limited role.

      • Fleer Carll 3 years ago

        Apparently, Ross left because Wren was only willing to offer one year.

        • rundmc1981 3 years ago

          I don’t doubt that, but if rumors from the trade reactions indicate – ATL has been looking at other backup catchers knowing Ross would be heavily courted – Ross’ label as being the best backup in MLB is finally reaping him the financial benefits. Just sad it’s not with ATL.

  2. wrongway 3 years ago

    Huh? 2 years? David Ross? What are theses guys doin?

    • XanderCrews 3 years ago

      Being super smart.

    • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

      You are doing it the WRONGWAY

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      That’s nothing on the best backup in MLB. Trust me, you’re going to wish you signed him to a 3-year deal towards the end of the contract with how much he lifts your young catchers and pitchers. I’d pay a cool million for his clubhouse attitude and teaching abilities alone.

  3. So I guess either Salty or Lavarnway are toast? I wasn’t impressed with Lavarnway at all.

    • Long term I don’t think many view Lavarnway as a catcher.

    • I gotta believe he will back up Salty (and probably improve him as well). No matter how you slice this, it is a blow to the Braves.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Someone who rakes an entire MiLB career, finally catches the duration of a season and is tired in 1 month (september) is determined to be nothing by the bandwagon fandom that surrounds Boston?

      How typical…

  4. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    Good move by Boston. David Ross is a phenomenal backup catcher to have.

    • Fleer Carll 3 years ago

      Best backup C in the game.

      • DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

        Like others have said, now Boston has a log jam at Catcher. I suspect one of Lavarnway or Saltalamacchia to be traded. Salty is the one I’d hold onto but his days in Boston seem numbered now.

        • sebalion 3 years ago

          some have agreed with you dan, but Lavarnway will be at AAA this year i think….he needs to work on his hitting and if either go down with injuries he’ll be ready to step in. glad to see boston sign a defensive catcher, but who knows…saltyls stock is up after smacking all those homers so maybe if the trade happens he’ll be gone… doubt there will be a lot of moves for the sox so anything is possible.

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        For the money, I think I’ll take Eric Kratz. (not saying he’s the best in the league, but making minimum and getting 9 HRs in 150 ABs is not shabby). Plus he has an absolute cannon.

  5. gradylittle 3 years ago

    Good signing but this most likely means that Lavarnway is either gone or possibly being moved to first?

    • Kevin 3 years ago

      I would venture to guess that Salty is more likely to be gone, his stock is probably higher than it used to be and this move will give Lavarnway more time to play to get accustomed to the pitching staff.

      • chowdah219 3 years ago

        I would think Lav because of being younger, more years of control with a lot of potential…

    • John Barney 3 years ago

      I would think he’s going to Pawtucket for the year. Either way, not a bad signing at all!

  6. soxin10 3 years ago

    We need pitching , possibly two outfielders, possibly a shortstop, and more pitching so we sign a catcher. I am not sure who is going, Salty or Lavernway, but if it is Lavernway, they did not give him much of a chance. Pedroia had a brutal first showing as well.

    • I’m guessing they are just putting the pieces in place to make a larger deal. Just be patient

      • soxin10 3 years ago

        Good point, I think that would imply Salty?

        • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

          Im thinking Ellsbury and Salty to Texas for Holland and Cruz. Possibly Andrus! (more pieces would be involved)

          *We all need to note this comment so I can say i told you so*

          • EarlyMorningBoxscore 3 years ago

            Get on the horn Ben! Make it happen.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Texas gave Salty away after asking originally for the moon. Have a hard time thinking they will give anything up for him now after Boston fixed as many of his issues as possible over the last year and a half.

            I’d still like to see him moved. Hard time seeing his numbers improve.. he is what he is.. A S/H who can barely hit from the RH side and swings for the fences or misses the ball entirely.

            Good thing he is adequate behind the plate or he’d be a backup and also catching is as bad as it is around the league.

          • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

            Doesnt matter that he was there before or not, what matters is that he is better now and a legit 20 hr power SH catcher and would represent an offensive upgrade for the Rangers.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            I think it does. Ryan started out demanding Bucholz and was turned down.. He thought he had multiple AS catchers in Salty, Teagarden and Ramirez, none panned out there and Salty developed problems that had to be fixed by Gary Tuck even.

            Ryan is a proud person and isn’t going to give up much more than the band of castoffs Boston gave up to get him in the 1st place, especially when he could have had Bard originally as was offered before Boston messed him up attempting to convert him into a SP as bard was a legitimate setup guy then.

            Teams generally don’t like to make mistakes.. It was telling of Ryan even as a player.

          • EightMileCats 3 years ago

            I don’t think the rangers would give up Andrus for Ells straight up. They wouldn’t trade him for Upton Who has a better injury track record and a similar stat line. And salty isn’t gonna net you Cruz and Holland either

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      It’s Lavarnway, and there’s not way of knowing what they’re going to do at the catcher’s spot yet. Also, just because they need those other things more, doesn’t mean they didn’t need a good defensive backup catcher, and the fact that they signed him doesn’t mean they aren’t focused on those other things.

  7. thekidfromyesterday 3 years ago

    This is not good

  8. erm016 3 years ago

    Damn it. We’re gonna miss you Ross.

  9. Farewell Boss, it was awesome seeing you crush lefties and gun down runners. Suddenly the Braves seem rather slim at catcher considering McCann’s health concerns and Bethancourt’s anemic bat.

    • erm016 3 years ago

      I’m disappointed they let him leave. You give him what he’s asking for. Him and Prado.

      • I just hope they’re not pinching pennies in an attempt to sign Josh Hamilton…

        • CT 3 years ago

          I’d be ok with that.

          • If he could be had for something like 4 years, $80M I’d be fine with it. But since that’s not all that possible, I think it’s best the Braves stay away from him.

          • rundmc1981 3 years ago

            You and 10 other teams that would deal with his diva.

          • Who will play LF for the 40 games Hamilton misses every year? Signing Hamilton and eating up 1/5 of the payroll for 4+ years is an awful idea

    • He hits righties just as well as lefties just so people are aware.

  10. chowdah219 3 years ago

    Was hoping they would sign him. Lav needs another year in AAA to get as many AB’s and innings behind the plate as possible, which cant do in Boston.
    Either that or 1 of Lav/salty will be traded soon.

    • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

      Wonder if this could be a precursor to the Ellsbury plus lavarnway/Salty package?

  11. johnsmith4 3 years ago

    It looks like Boston is reloading instead of rebuilding. After 2013, Saltalamacchio is a free agent.

    • gradylittle 3 years ago

      We sign a back up catcher and suddenly we aren’t rebuilding anymore?

      • bigpat 3 years ago

        all in!!!

      • johnsmith4 3 years ago

        From my vantage point, it appears Lavarnaway will be optioned in 2013. I won’t tell you can take it to the bank. But, you can’t tell me what I am suggesting is baseless.

        • gradylittle 3 years ago

          Well we’ll have to see what their next moves are. If they sign a guy like Tori Hunter like many people are speculating they might, then I will have to agree with what you are saying. But signing a guy like Ross, a great back up catcher and what many consider a great clubhouse guy is just a good signing, especially for a team like the Red Sox.

      • jmcbosox 3 years ago

        speculators be speculatin!

    • ugotrpk3113 3 years ago

      Saltalamacchio? Is Geppetto his agent?

  12. CT 3 years ago

    This is disappointing. Who is going to catch with McCann out to start the season?

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      the braves can always sign a different backup catcher.

    • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

      Ill trade your Salty!

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      Evan Gattis…he’s not as defensively-gifted as Bethancourt by any means, but he is more so than McCann. Gattis’ is getting back his production after recovering from a wrist injury (hit by pitch) – which Bethancourt has been recovering from late last season. Gattis has also been working out in LF and considering his bat is his specialty, he could move to a OF reserve role on a limited basis when McCann returns.

  13. It either means they’re gonna convert Lavarnway to OF or put him in a package.

  14. AZME 3 years ago

    Little money for a solid option. Maybe they will work with Lavarnway at 1B at AAA to give us additional options.

  15. Jwick22 3 years ago

    This guy never should have reached free agency. Im sure if wren offered a fair contract mid season ross would have taking it.

  16. Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

    Glad we signed the right Ross!

  17. Patrick 3 years ago

    Braves just lost the best backup catcher in the league and one of the best clubhouse guys. This sucks.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Next best backup total package and probably the best defensive FA catcher of the off season that was available is still out there in Shoppach.

      Got a feeling he is also looking for far more playing time than he got last year also, like Ross, so he might be tough to sign for just a couple hundred PA.

      Was kind of shocked to see Ross sign for 3m AAV, figured Shoppach might even get that much for his defensive skill set/arm combo and power.

  18. Another Boston mistake. 2 years for a 36 year old back-up catcher?

    • EarlyMorningBoxscore 3 years ago

      Is he one of the best backup catchers in the game still. Plus it could mean that Salty or Lavy are on their way out in a trade for some more help. It is a good signing.

    • This is actually a good signing.

      • Perhaps if people keep saying it “is a good signing” they’ll really believe it.

        • EarlyMorningBoxscore 3 years ago

          Or perhaps if you looked at the facts you’d realize it is a good signing. Regardless of who is starting they can learn from Ross. Plus he mashes lefties. On top of that the influx of people calling it a good deal. All signs point to this being a good deal.

        • OptimusSmoltz 3 years ago

          As a Braves fan, Ross is a great clubhouse presence and more than solid backup C. For me, it’s a bad signing simply because of the team name on the contract…sorry to see him go.

          Plus, even at 36, you can DH him every so often to keep his bat in against lefties.

    • sebalion 3 years ago

      its a low risk deal Raymond and the guy has proven himself as one of the best back-up catchers out there……if it doesnt pan out no one will be losing sleep over it

    • Lamar Smith 3 years ago

      Raymond, Do you even have a clue to as what you’re talking about? A) 3mill for a backup catcher of his caliber is a great move. B) He rakes against lefties and isn’t too shabby vs right handers. C) He still can throw out runners and D) He will be able to help with the young pitchers on the the team.

  19. Casey McMahon 3 years ago

    This could be one of the biggest offseason moves. Considering the Platoon Splits they have a combined all star calibre production guaranteed

  20. John Barney 3 years ago

    Not a bad move at all. One of two things could happen here as a result. 1 – Salty and Ross play out the year, with Lavarnway going to Pawtucket, or 2 – Salty is gone, and Lavarnway and Ross are the 2 backstops, with Ross getting most of the time. What’s Salty’s contract look like?

    • gradylittle 3 years ago

      What about Lavarnway being dealt as part of some type of package. I think that’s a real possibility here.

      • gson 3 years ago

        Rumors have been proffered between the Indians and the Red Sox. Everything from a simple one for type trade to a multitude of offerings. Players discussed include Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-soo Choo, Justin Masterson and others. The Indians are supposedly looking for “prospects” in return, so, this could work for the Sawx..

  21. n0s 3 years ago

    Thank you Red Sox, I didn’t want the Yankees having anything to do with this guy as our starting catcher.

    • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

      I don’t think he would be our starter if he was signed.

      • Lamar Smith 3 years ago

        Just like he isn’t the starter for the Red Sox.

        • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

          ok. what’s your point? I was responding to the guy who thought Yankees may sign Ross as starter.

  22. Michael 3 years ago

    Granted, I still think the Sox need to focus on starting pitching, 1B and outfield, but I’m really good with this. Ross could be a big help to pitchers like Doubront and Bard.

  23. How about a trade of Lavarnway for Bryan LaHair?

  24. dc21892 3 years ago

    Someone is on the move.

  25. Bob Bunker 3 years ago

    i hope this means that lararnway is going to be part of trade package. Otherwise it just causes a log jam at C without improving the team in the current enough to matter or helping the future.

  26. Ross has been worth 4.9 WAR (according to BBref) over the past four years. Even though he’s been a back-up, that’s still equivalent to $24.5 million (or $6.125 million per season). Good signing.

  27. Colin Christopher 3 years ago

    Good for David Ross. The money he’ll make in the next two years will be equal to what he’s made in the last four. Too bad he’s not going to be a Brave, but a team with a $90M payroll can’t commit $3M/year to their backup catcher. That’s just reality. Here’s hoping McCann heals quickly, Bethancourt is MLB-ready sooner than we think, and that maybe Gattis gets a shot at some time behind the dish as well.

  28. Monty Burns 3 years ago

    Name the last amazing or “this is great move that will put us over the top” by Wren. If one was generous it was likely Ross’s initial signing donkey’s years ago or the Vaz trade at least for the first season or two until Wren had to unload him to the Yankees (which killed his performance) bc he could not unload Lowe.

    Everything else is either a bust or ok. Outcomes were the same.

    Yet somehow he gets a pass year after year and is deemed great.

    Know this Wren has no design center for this club and contrary to what he says on camera he does not know what team chemistry even looks like. Under Wren and the latter years of JS ATL has fielded a piece part team with holes in the skills and “fire” dept. That streak continues.

    Until this team gets past the first round of the post season (something they have NOT done since 1999) he will be on the hot seat IMHO.

  29. bigmike04 3 years ago

    Pretty good deal fro Ross to get, I am suprise that Atlanta didn’t make much of offer, as I thought their were going hard to resigned him, as with Brian McCain going to be out, their going to need atleast 2 catchers..

  30. UrsaMajor 3 years ago

    Well, the Red Sox signed Ross all right. Just not Cody Ross.

  31. Great move by Cherrington. How the Braves let Ross sign for $3M over two years somewhere else confuses me.

    Question now is where does Salty get traded and for who?

  32. mgsports 3 years ago

    For Justin Upton?

  33. kjbaune 3 years ago

    Just lost a ton of confidence in Wren. McCann’s season is a question mark, has had eye issues, and Ross has basically been your season saviour the last two years at catcher, and you won’t show him any love or gratitude? Oh, and remember when Ross was the only one who showed up for the play-off game this year? Didn’t he have another hr? Passing over the Braves if I were a free agent looking for stability and loyalty.

    • DerangedAngry Hilbilly 3 years ago

      so you think that the Braves, a mid market team with several players due for extensions and/or arbitration over the next few years, should have overspent on a backup catcher who is 36?

      That seems laughable to me. You don’t pay a guy $3.1 mill a year to be a backup catcher when you total budget is under $100 mill, it’s just not smart. They will go pick up someone for $1mill and they will be just fine

      • kjbaune 3 years ago

        Absolutely. On a 2 year deal Ross would have given the mid-market Braves much needed stability behind the plate. Every pitcher (especially the young ones) in that rotation excelled when he was calling the pitches. He was their best pitching coach that just so happened to be behind the plate. He was much more than just a back-up. I expect that Boston’s pitching is much more effective this next year, and Atlanta will struggle with their pitchers and McCann will not be very reliable, and ATL will get a back-up catcher as effective as a rubber backstop.

        • DerangedAngry Hilbilly 3 years ago

          and your evidence for this is ??? it’s a backup catcher for goodness sake. It wasn’t smart to give a 36 yr old 2 yrs and over $6mill . Regardless of Mac’s injury. there are plenty of sufficient options available for $1mill a year (give or a take) . I think you have confirmation bias going against Mac and and emotional attachment to a bench player that is unfounded in fact. smart teams with lower payroll don’t spend 6 mill for 2 years on 36 yr old backup catchers.

          • kjbaune 3 years ago

            No bias against Mac, I think he could be the best hitting catcher in either league when healthy. Maybe a little emotion has played in how I view the situation with Ross, but I suppose I see value where others see an easy replacement part. Either way, I am sure they as a unit will be alright. I’d now like to see someone in their farm system get a chance to be productive. Thanks for your comments.

          • DerangedAngry Hilbilly 3 years ago

            Bethancourt isn’t ready (.560 OPS in AA last yr) Gattis is more likely to be a 5th OF’er/3rd catcher type …. I think i see them going after a guy like Dioner Navarro,(spelling?) or Shoppach…

  34. Why are there so many Red Sox news posts? 102 comments for signing a backup catcher, that’s why.

  35. EarlyMorningBoxscore 3 years ago

    Not even going to go into politics. Separation of sport and politics is probably for the best. Or else it’ll open up a can of worms.

  36. vtadave 3 years ago

    Andrus won’t be traded for Upton, but he would for that junk?

  37. evan 3 years ago

    That trio of players wouldn’t even come close to being enough for Andrus. You’re way off. Andrus is a borderline elite talent at a premium position. It would take at least 2 of our top 5 prospects and probably a bullpen piece like melancon/breslow.

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