Cody Ross Rumors
The Red Sox narrowed their search for outfielders to focus on Gomes and Cody Ross in recent days, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reported earlier today. McAdam first reported that the Red Sox had discussed a two-year deal with Gomes.
Gomes, 31, spent this past season with the Athletics as a corner outfielder and designated hitter. He posted a .262/.377/.491 batting line with 18 home runs and 44 walks in 333 plate appearances. Gomes, a career .284/.382/.512 hitter against left-handed pitching, continued hitting southpaws well in 2012. He posted a .974 OPS against lefties and hit 11 homers.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post, which was first published on November 21st.
Power-hitting corner outfielders are always in demand, but not every team has the pockets deep enough to make a run at Josh Hamilton or even Nick Swisher. The lower price tag on more affordable names like Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross leads to plenty of interest from teams looking for a boost in the outfield.
Ludwick, 34, produced a robust .275/.346/.531 triple slash line with 26 homers in 2012 -- his first season with the Reds. While he was better at home in his hitter-friendly ballpark and against left-handed pitching, Ludwick managed to crack an .850 OPS both on the road and against right-handed pitching. In short, he hit regardless of the situation he was in. However, he totaled his fewest plate appearances since 2008 and provided negative value on defense according to UZR. He'll also turn 35 next July.
Ross won't turn 32 until December, and he enjoyed a strong season in his own right. He hit .267/.326/.481 with 22 home runs in 2012 -- also his first season with a new team (the Red Sox). Ross carried a noticeable home-road split (.921 home OPS; .684 away) and a significant left-right split as well (1.010 OPS vs. lefties; .729 vs. righties). Ross, however, appeared at all three outfield positions for the Red Sox and graded out strongly in right field according to UZR/150 (+6.3 runs).
Each has likely positioned himself for a multiyear deal. And, while each is drawing interest from his former club, other teams around the league surely are considering the services of both Ludwick and Ross.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe interviewed Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on a number of Hot Stove topics earlier today, including the pace of the offseason, a pair of Rosses, and the team's bulk of quality catchers. Here are the highlights...
- The Red Sox remain in talks with Cody Ross but are also talking to other corner outfield options as well.
- Boston signed David Ross because Cherington and his colleagues "wanted to have someone as part of the catching group who has been through the wars and has a good feel for the game." Abraham notes that Ross will receive more playing time than a standard backup catcher.
- Cherington expects David Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway all to contribute to the club in 2013, implying that he's not planning on dealing any of his catchers. The plan right now, not surprisingly, is for Saltalamacchia to start with Ross backing up and Lavarnway likely opening the year at Triple-A Pawtucket.
- Cherington doesn't feel that the team is moving at a slow pace thus far this offseason. He tells Abraham that the team is well ahead of where it was at this juncture in 2011: "We’ve spent a lot more time on player issues at this time as compared to last year. That doesn’t always turn into announcements."
- The Red Sox will have a "significant" payroll and will be adding free-agent talent to the team, according to Cherington. He also wouldn't rule out trading prospects for established talent, though he stressed that he'd need to acquire another long-term piece in return if he were to do so.
Here's the latest out of Boston...
- Former Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross is drawing the most interest from the Phillies, Tigers, Mariners, and, naturally, the Red Sox according to ESPN's Jim Bowden (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox had "preliminary talks" with the Marlins about Jose Reyes prior to last night's blockbuster, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Bradford also looked at why the team might have been interested in the shortstop.
- Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe notes (on Twitter) that while Ricky Nolasco and Logan Morrison of the Marlins are available, the Red Sox should be able find better players to fill their rotation and first base/outfield holes.
The Braves have interest in free agent outfielder Cody Ross, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He has a good relationship with Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez from their time together with the Marlins.
The 31-year-old Ross posted a .267/.326/.481 line with 22 homers in 528 plate appearances for the Red Sox this season, and the Braves are targeting a right-handed hitting outfielder to balance their lineup. Ross is said to be seeking a three-year deal worth $25MM this winter, and so far he's received interest from the Phillies and Orioles.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Ross as the 22nd best free agent in his Top 50 Free Agents List, predicting he would re-sign with the Red Sox. Earlier today WEEI.com's Rob Bradford noted (on Twitter) that Torii Hunter's decision could impact Ross since the same clubs are interested in both players.
The Phillies are comfortable paying Josh Hamilton a high annual salary, but they have concerns about committing to the free agent outfielder on a long-term contract, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Twitter links). Hamilton, the winter’s top free agent position player, is a client of Moye Sports Associates.
The Phillies are also among the teams talking with outfielder Cody Ross, Olney reports. Ross, a free agent who's not tied to draft pick compensation, is a client of SFX.
The Orioles also appear to have interest in both outfielders. The Red Sox discussed the possibility of a new deal with Ross, whose asking price appears to be $25MM for three years. While some teams are wary of that kind of commitment, other clubs appear to have interest in committing to Ross on a three-year deal. The Braves and Red Sox appear to have some level of interest in Hamilton.
The Orioles were a surprise contender this year and now it appears they might be a surprise big spender in the offseason. Baltimore is targeting Josh Hamilton and Cody Ross for their left field job, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
Hamilton, 31, would add major left-handed thump to a lineup that already features Nick Markakis and Chris Davis. He also wouldn't have to play center field thanks to Adam Jones. Ross, 31, would complement Jones as a right-handed power hitter and would come considerably cheaper. He's reportedly seeking three years and $25MM while Hamilton figures to demand nine figures.
The Blue Jays aren’t going to rush their managerial search, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reported yesterday. Here’s the latest on the rest of the AL East, on the day before the GM Meetings begin in California...
- The Red Sox don’t want to offer Cody Ross a three-year deal, which could be a stumbling block in contract discussions, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Ross appears to be seeking a three-year contract in the $25MM range. Some teams appear to have interest in committing to Ross on a three-year deal, Bradford reports.
- Agents say the Yankees are approaching free agency slowly, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). New York appears to be waiting for the upcoming GM Meetings and to see if a free agent such as Rafael Soriano or Nick Swisher accepts a qualifying offer. Soriano, Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda have until Friday to accept or decline the Yankees’ offers.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks ahead to determine which players might fit on the Orioles' bench in 2013. Taylor Teagarden, Nolan Reimold, Wilson Betemit and Ryan Flaherty will likely be among the players competing for reserve roles on the Baltimore roster next year.
- In case you missed it, the Red Sox are interested in Torii Hunter.
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.
Earlier today, the Red Sox assured that longtime designated hitter David Ortiz would be in Boston through 2014 when they signed him to a two-year deal. Earlier today, general manager Ben Cherington addressed the media regarding the makeup of his team and the upcoming offseason. WEEI.com's Alex Speier has a rundown...
- The team has decisions to make at first base, shortstop, both corner outfield positions and in the fifth spot of the rotation. Speier notes that the team must also look beyond 2013 at the team's long-term plans for center field and catcher.
- Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and John Lackey should occupy the first four spots in the rotation, but the team will go outside the organization to acquire a fifth starter. That could happen via either free agency or trade.
- Cherington didn't sound overly optimistic when discussing his chances of re-signing Cody Ross: “We’ve had a number of conversations. Obviously we’re into free agency now. We didn’t sign him before that started. The door will remain open, and we’ll continue to talk, but once we’re in free agency, he’s got opportunities to talk to other teams, and we fully expect him to do that ... We'll keep talking. At the same time, we've got to consider alternatives, too."
- The Red Sox were never particularly close to completing a trade for either Ervin Santana or Dan Haren when the Angels made both right-handers available last week.
- Boston could hire a new pitching coach and hitting coach within a week's time.
- Cherington told Speier that he hopes Ortiz retires as a member of the Red Sox (Twitter link). He added that he hopes that retirement is several years away.