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Cody Ross Rumors
The Diamondbacks added to their already enviable outfield depth today. Arizona has officially signed Cody Ross to a three-year contract with a fourth year club option, the team announced. The deal is worth $26MM, which includes a $1MM buyout of the option. Ross is an SFX client.
Ross, 31, was a popular free agent this offseason after hitting .267/.326/.481 with 22 homers in 476 plate appearances for the Red Sox last season. The right-handed batter was especially productive against lefties (.295/.373/.636) and at home in Fenway Park (.295/.356/.565). Ross has plenty of experience in all three outfield spots, though the various metrics say he's just average defensively.
Despite trading Chris Young earlier this offseason, the Diamondbacks still have a very crowded outfield. Ross joins the incumbent Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, and Gerardo Parra, and the club also has prospects Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock knocking on the door. Arizona is already working to trade one of their spare outfielders, and of course Upton is the big name. Kubel or Parra could also be moved to clear up the logjam as well.
The Rangers, Phillies, Giants, Mets, Mariners, Yankees, and Braves were among the teams with some level of interest in Ross this winter. The Red Sox had interest in bringing him back as well, though that interest waned after they inked Jonny Gomes to a two-year, $10MM pact. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Ross as the 22nd best free agent on the market, predicting he would re-sign with Boston.
The Mets are exploring trades and contacting free agents as they look to add depth to a rotation that no longer includes R.A. Dickey, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. The Mets have reached out to many free agent starters, including Chris Young and Shaun Marcum. Davidoff reported yesterday that the Mets are also interested in free agents Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano.
The Mets have interest in Dodgers starters Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, Davidoff reports (Twitter link). The Dodgers figure to trade at least one starting pitcher after signing Zack Greinke, so Capuano or Harang could be dealt. The Mets have engaged the Dodgers in trade talks about their starting pitching depth, according to the Post.
GM Sandy Alderson continues searching for a right-handed hitting outfielder, Davidoff writes. The Mets would prefer to add an outfielder capable of playing right field so they can move Lucas Duda to left. Scott Hairston and Cody Ross are potential targets for the Mets. However signing those players could be challenging, since the Mets have approximately $10MM to spend.
The latest from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com…
- Both the Dodgers and Red Sox have interest in Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, reports Heyman. He hears Los Angeles could also make a play for Indians closer Chris Perez or Mets right-hander Bobby Parnell as well.
- The Rangers were interested in Anibal Sanchez and Russell Martin before they signed elsewhere, Knobler reports. Now Texas is pursuing Edwin Jackson, A.J. Pierzynski and Cody Ross. Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse aren't thought to be "front-burner" items for the Rangers now, Knobler reports. Knobler suggests the Rangers are interested in a relatively short-term deal for Jackson, who's also drawing serious interest from the Cubs.
- The Dodgers have talked about trading Andre Ethier and signing Bourn to replace him, reports Knobler. Los Angeles is looking for a leadoff hitter. Earlier this week we heard they've considered trading Ethier and signing Nick Swisher.
- The Rangers may be the best bet for Pierzynski since the Yankees still can’t get excited about the backstop, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Instead, New York is looking to go with Austin Romine.
- The Braves continue eyeing a left fielder and would prefer to add a leadoff type, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Bobby Abreu, who is now playing winter ball, hopes to play for two or three more years, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Pierzynski | Andre Ethier | Anibal Sanchez | Atlanta Braves | Bobby Abreu | Bobby Parnell | Boston Red Sox | Chris Perez | Cleveland Indians | Cody Ross | Edwin Jackson | Joel Hanrahan | Kyle Lohse | Los Angeles Dodgers | Michael Bourn | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Pittsburgh Pirates | Russell Martin | Texas Rangers
Free agent outfielder Cody Ross visited the Rangers yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Ross had dinner with team officials, including manager Ron Washington and GM Jon Daniels. Yesterday was a busy recruiting day for the Rangers, who also met with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
The Phillies, Braves, Mariners, Red Sox, Yankees, Mets and Orioles have all been linked to Ross so far this offseason. However, the Red Sox don’t appear to have room in their outfield for Ross at this point. Earlier in the offseason it was reported that the SFX client has an asking price of $25MM over three years.
Ross, who turns 32 on Sunday, posted a .267/.326/.481 batting line in 528 plate appearances for the Red Sox this past season. He contributed 22 home runs and 34 doubles while earning $3MM. Ross has considerable experience playing all three outfield positions, though he appeared in just seven games as a center fielder in 2012. He ranked 22nd on MLBTR’s list of top 50 free agents.
We've already had one batch of AL East Notes on MLBTR today, but here are some more items on a busy day around the division…
- The Orioles have had a quiet offseason while their division rivals have been spending, writes Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. While the O's didn't make any major signings en route to a playoff appearance last year and face a payroll increase due to several arbitration-eligible players, Schmuck thinks spending on a big free agent like Adam LaRoche would help the team contend again.
- A Dodgers official flatly denied that the Dodgers and Red Sox could make an Andre Ethier/Jacoby Ellsbury swap, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Ethier's name has come up in recent rumors but L.A. isn't shopping the outfielder and doesn't appear eager to move him.
- Also from Cafardo, he hears from an AL general manager that the Red Sox may be trying to deal Ellsbury so they can shift Shane Victorino to center field and then sign Cody Ross. Several teams are interested in Ross but none have yet met his desired price of a three-year, $21-$31MM contract.
- Jose Iglesias has "always been available, but nobody has knocked down [Boston's] door," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the Red Sox prospect's trade value. Given that Stephen Drew was signed to just a one-year contract, it's too early to say that the Sox have given up on Iglesias as a long-term solution at shortstop.
- Also from Cafardo's piece, he thinks that Rafael Soriano and Matt Garza could both still be targets for the Red Sox.
- Right-hander Daniel McCutchen has received multiple offers to play in Japan, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has learned. McCutchen’s minor league deal with the Orioles permits him to accept an offer from a Japanese team. The 30-year-old appeared in one game for the Pirates this past season, but he spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.98 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 63 1/3 innings.
- The Blue Jays were picked as the 2013 AL East champions by 13 of 20 scouts and executives polled by FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi. In that same poll, the Orioles were picked to finish last by 10 voters, while the Red Sox received six last-place votes and were the only team that didn't get at least one pick as division winners. Morosi himself picks Toronto for first place and Boston for last.
- From earlier today, the Rays signed Roberto Hernandez, the Red Sox finalized the signing of Koji Uehara and I compiled some Yankees-related notes.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
The Phillies are still pursuing free agent Cody Ross and also have interest in acquiring Angels outfielder Vernon Wells, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. As Heyman notes, Philadelphia is looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder who can be slotted behind Ryan Howard in the lineup. Ross would be the ideal fit for this role, as it's hard to expect Wells to serve as suitable lineup protection given how his production has dropped off in each of the last two seasons.
Besides the Phillies, the Mets, Mariners and Braves have also been linked to Ross this offseason. The Yankees, Orioles and Red Sox also had interest but may be out of the running now since both clubs have made other outfield signings (Ichiro Suzuki, Nate McLouth and Shane Victorino, respectively).
Wells would be a cheap addition for the Phillies, as the Angels would still have to cover most of the $42MM owed to Wells through the 2014 season. The Yankees have also been rumored as another possible trade destination for Wells. It has been presumed that Wells would waive his no-trade clause to receive more playing time and a fresh start away from Anaheim.
There is plenty of room in the Philadelphia outfield, as only center fielder Ben Revere is thus far slated for an everyday spot in the lineup. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told media (including Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News) that all options are being considered, including not having everyday corner outfielders.
"We’re still trolling through the possibility of adding another piece there. And we’re also considering the possibility with a double platoon. That’s a possibility as well," Amaro said. "We’ve done some things that have helped our club at a couple of different levels. I don’t think the process of trying to help improve our club stops until the end of the season."
Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) that the Phillies are intensifying their pursuit of Cody Ross. Of course there’s other clubs strongly pursuing the outfielder, including the Mariners. Here’s more out on the Phillies and the rest of the NL East..
- There were no trade talks brewing this weekend between the Braves or Rangers on Dexter Fowler, a Rockies source told Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The Braves have been in trade talks this week with several clubs and are believed to be targeting Fowler.
- The Mets may be on the verge of acquiring Travis d’Arnaud from the Blue Jays, which shows how bad they want R.A. Dickey, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Two other execs that asked for d’Arnaud this offseason were told flat-out no.
- After picking up Mike Adams and John Lannan, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks at what is left for the Phillies to spend on an outfield upgrade. By Gelb’s math, the Phillies could sign an outfielder with an average annual salary of approximately $7MM and be right up against the tax threshold.
Here's the latest on the World Series champions, courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle's Hank Schulman…
- The Giants aren't close (Twitter link) to a deal to bring back former closer Brian Wilson. The club assumes that Wilson will only consider a return once he's closely looked at his other choices. Schulman reported earlier this month that Wilson had some hard feelings towards the Giants for non-tendering him and was looking to pitch elsewhere, preferably for the Red Sox or one of the Los Angeles teams.
- Nick Swisher doesn't appear to be a target (Twitter link) for the Giants.
- Cody Ross, Scott Hairston and Reed Johnson were all considered by the Giants as right-handed hitting outfield options, but the three players "either were not willing to take a part-timer's salary or not what the Giants wanted defensively." San Francisco instead reached agreement with Andres Torres to a one-year, $2MM contract earlier today.
- Giants president Larry Baer said his club feels no pressure to make any big moves to counter the Dodgers. "Our strategy is just different, developing guys and bringing them through the system and sprinkling in free agents and trades when it makes sense," Baer said. "We've done free agents before, but we're trying to do more of a homegrown thing…You can't let what any other team does alter your strategy. That would be a mistake. If we're going to look at the Dodgers spending all this money and say we're going to be free-agent-centric, we don't think that would be smart."
- In news from earlier today, the Giants are believed to have offered Ichiro Suzuki a two-year, $15MM contract, but Ichiro is on his way to taking a slightly smaller contract to re-sign with the Yankees.
5:25pm: The deal appears to be a longshot to happen, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Phillies were uninterested in Soriano when first presented with the possibility but warmed up to it enough to consider it.
4:31pm: The Phillies have discussed a deal with the Cubs that would net them Alfonso Soriano in exchange for Domonic Brown, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the Phillies might be more inclined to sign a free agent, such as Cody Ross or someone else.
The Cubs are believed to be willing to pay $26MM of the $36MM remaining on Soriano's deal if they can get quality prospects in return. The Phillies like Soriano offensively but have reservations about his defensive play, despite his improvement last season. Soriano, who will turn 37 next month, hit .262/.322/.499 with 32 home runs in 615 plate appearances.
Ross would be a better fit for the Phillies' budget than fellow free agent outfielders Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton. Earlier today we learned that the Mets have kicked the tires on Ross, but would be unwilling to make a commitment to him beyond two years. The Phillies, Braves, Mariners, Red Sox, Yankees, and Orioles have all been linked to Ross so far this offseason.
The Mets are "kicking the tires" on free agent outfielder Cody Ross, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. It's unlikely the Mets would make a commitment of more than two years to any free agent, including Ross, according to Puma.
The Phillies, Braves, Mariners, Red Sox, Yankees, and Orioles have all been linked to Ross so far this offseason. Earlier in the offseason it was reported that the SFX client has an asking price of $25MM over three years.
Ross, 31, posted a .267/.326/.481 batting line in 528 plate appearances for the Red Sox this past season. He contributed 22 home runs and 34 doubles while playing all three outfield positions and earning $3MM. He ranked 22nd on MLBTR’s list of top 50 free agents.