Cubs catcher David Ross said yesterday that he’s likely to retire after the coming season in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link). The veteran is entering the second and final season of the two-year, $5MM free agent deal he signed to join the Chicago organization.
“I think this is probably going to be it for me,” said Ross. He explained that he’s “going to give it one more run” but that it’s “time to be a dad” thereafter.
Ross, 38, is entering his 15th season of MLB action and has long been one of the game’s best-respected back-up backstops. Though he has only taken more than 200 plate appearances in a season twice in his career — over 2006 and 2007 with the Reds — Ross has seen regular reserve duty (between 100 and 200 PA) in every season dating back to 2003.
At his best, Ross has presented a reliable on-base threat with good pop. While he had several such individual seasons, his best multi-year stretch was with the Braves between 2009 and 2013. Over those four years, Ross slashed a robust .269/.353/.463 and joined Brian McCann to make up one of the league’s best catcher pairings. Of course, the veteran is also a gifted defender who still rates as an outstanding pitch framer even as his offensive production has fallen off.
Ross is a well-traveled player, though the “journeyman” tag does not fit here given his consistent playing time and many multi-season stops. In addition to the clubs mentioned above, Ross played for the World Series champion Red Sox in 2013, his first of two seasons in Boston, opened his career with the Dodgers, and had briefer stints with the Pirates and Padres.
It remains to be seen whether Ross will ultimately consider another campaign beyond 2016. As things stand, though, it appears that he’ll enjoy one more season with an exciting, young Cubs team before hanging up his gear.