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UPDATE: Red Sox agree to one-year, $3 million contract with Cody Ross

Jan 23, 2012, 8:53 PM EDT

Cody Ross Getty Images

9:14 PM: According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Ross will make a $3 million base salary with the chance to earn more in bonuses based on plate appearances.

8:53 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox and Cody Ross have agreed to a contract. No word on the terms yet, but Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald hears that it’s a one-year deal.

3:41 PM: Boston cleared $6 million off the books by trading Marco Scutaro to Colorado, presumably to pursue Roy Oswalt, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Red Sox are also having “an ongoing dialogue” with free agent outfielder Cody Ross.

According to Crasnick the Mets are also in the mix for Ross, who at one point was said to be in talks with the A’s before they traded for corner outfielders Seth Smith and Josh Reddick.

Ross isn’t an ideal everyday player because his production versus right-handers is underwhelming, but he knocks around left-handers and is a solid defensive corner outfielder. And right now the Red Sox have Ryan Sweeney and Darnell McDonald penciled in as their right field platoon–and Carl Crawford is a health question mark–so even a mediocre starter like Ross would be a worthwhile pickup at the right price.

  1. randygnyc - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    “And right now the Red Sox have Ryan Sweeney and Darnell McDonald penciled in as their corner guys”

    Carl Crawford has died? Missed that……. Condolences to his family.

    • bloodysock - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      Crawford likely won’t be available on Opening Day due to recovering from wrist surgery.

  2. canowack - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Pretty sure he means in right…

  3. randygnyc - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    I guess it was ambiguous enough that that 33% of the article got rewritten, without an update notification.

  4. proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Minor league contract?

  5. baseballisboring - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I think he’d be an upgrade over Darnell McDonald, but I’d want to get him realll cheap. If we traded Scutaro so we can pick up Cody Ross that’s a net loss…

    • Old Gator - Jan 23, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      A net loss? That’s a great white tearing your net wide open and eating all your bluefin tuna.

  6. proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Minor league contract?

    • baseballisboring - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Last I heard (from MLBTR or somewhere) he was looking for multiple years. He probably doesn’t get that but I think he’ll get an MLB deal, and he should. But if the Sawx are gonna pick him up I sure hope they don’t spend much…

      • bozosforall - Jan 23, 2012 at 6:29 PM

        They will overpay…as usual.

      • baseballisboring - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        Ever notice that every single comment you make there’s like 1 to 20 thumbs up to thumbs down ratio? People hate you, and don’t value your input.

      • wendell7 - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:07 AM

        I’m pretty sure that is the reaction he is hoping for here. If there was NO reaction at all to his posts I wonder if they would continue.

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        baseballisboring – Jan 23, 2012 at 9:43 PM
        Ever notice that every single comment you make there’s like 1 to 20 thumbs up to thumbs down ratio? People hate you, and don’t value your input.

        __
        You assume that I CARE what a bunch of Internet hacks think about me.

        Unlike your no-life existence, I actually have real life friends who think much differently about me. But keep on living in your fantasy world, loser…I’ll keep on laughing at your lame self-righteousness here on HBT…and laughing at the fact that you have no life other than here.

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        wendell7 – Jan 24, 2012 at 7:07 AM
        I’m pretty sure that is the reaction he is hoping for here. If there was NO reaction at all to his posts I wonder if they would continue.

        __
        My posts will continue as long as I have something to say, agreeable or not to the masses. I don’t care if people really like what I say…I say what I want to say when I want to say it…why? because it’s a free country.

        If you don’t like it, then change the channel (so to speak).

    • uyf1950 - Jan 23, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      proudlycanadian – I doubt it’s on a minor league deal. Probably 1 year/$4MM guaranteed with some incentives.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        Good guess.

  7. knicks4life - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    AA contract

  8. bobwsc - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Ross ruins what would have been an otherwise phenomenal lip sync duet between Brian Wilson and this little dude (and the mascot): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwYZ3LHHERI

  9. proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Now there is a report out of San Jose that Ross will “pick a team today”. The paper is implying that he has options, however disagreeable they might be to him given his original objective.

  10. Ari Collins - Jan 23, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    And per Adam Rubin of ESPN, he will “probably end up with the Red Sox.”

    A very good 4th OF (and maybe 3rd OF until Crawford comes back), as long as he’s cheap.

  11. uyf1950 - Jan 23, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    It was being reported at about 7:50pm the Red Sox reached agreement with Cody Ross. No specifics yet.

  12. dondada10 - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    1 year, 3 mil. Good deal for the Sox.

  13. mojosmagic - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    A one trick pony Ross won’t hit 200 if they throw him a steady diet of curve balls.

    • hammyofdoom - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      Or he’ll do really well against lefties and if possible never face a right handed pitcher all year haha

  14. baseballisboring - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    3 mil is fine, but like I said, I hope there’s another domino to fall here. Trading Scutaro for Ross while saving 3 million bucks makes no sense.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

      One way it could make sense is to get them under the threshold. If it accomplishes that, then they’d have a LOT more flexibility next year to go after Greinke, or Hamels or Cain (if they don’t get extended).

      I’d take not having Oswalt this year if it means getting Greinke the next.

      • bigharold - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM

        So, .. another bridge year? And that’s a pretty big if.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM

        If you count a 93-win (or so) year a bridge year, then sure. They won 90 games last year and would improve even without the tinkering around the margins that Cherington has done.

      • bigharold - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        “If you count a 93-win (or so) year a bridge year, then sure.”

        The RS lost their closer, moved their set up man to the rotation, are still looking for a 5th starter, traded their SS, still have nothing more than a platoon situation in RF, won’t have the LFer to start the season, have a new manager that is diametrically opposed to the last manager and an owner that insist on acting like he’s a small market team that refuses to spend money and you are expecting a three game improvement?

        Some might suggest that is optimistic to the point of delusional.

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        ANY rational person would just go with the “delusional” option, bigharold. You nailed the analysis, despite the weak protestations of the Red Sox idiot fans.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        The Red Sox traded for TWO closers, are trying out a great reliever in the rotation (which has worked well recently, particularly for the Rangers), have plenty of middle infield and rotational depth (certainly more than last year’s 90-win team), have a better RF than they had last year, just signed a guy who can stand in for LF for a month or whatever Crawford needs, and a $180MM payroll isn’t small-market; it’s just not limitless like your team. (I have no idea what Bobby Valentine being “diametrically opposed” to Francona would even mean. And wasn’t Francona roundly criticized for his performance last year?)

        The fact that the Red Sox with no depth and terrible health still won 90 games last year makes me pretty optimistic for next year, considering they’ve added depth and need merely-poor health to add a couple wins.

        I mean, we could run through any team and list a couple minor holes at the back end of the roster. If that’s a bridge year, then everyone but the limitlessly-funded Yankees are in a bridge year every year.

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Limitlessly funded Yankees? Get real…because the just as limitlessly funded Red Sox are right up there with the Yankees in payroll…in fact, they may well surpass them in salary numbers…which would force countless Red Sox fan excusemakers to eat massive amounts of crow. And if anyone knows their baseball history, they would already know that Tom Yawkey was Steinbrenner before Steinbrenner was Steinbrenner, spending like a drunken sailor from the 1930s until the day he died to field a winner..and coming up bubkes.

        Your automatic assumption that the Red Sox will automatically be better absent injury is ridiculous, particularly given the fact that Ellsbury won’t reproduce his 2011, Scutaro isn’t there (and his replacement won’t likely be any better), the pitching staff is in shambles (starters, bullpen, closers) and the hitting probably won’t be as prolific as last season, what with everyone being a year older (particularly Ortiz and Youkilis).

        bigharold had it correct when he applied the term “delusional” to the Red Sox fan base.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        “the just as limitlessly funded Red Sox are right up there with the Yankees in payroll…in fact, they may well surpass them in salary numbers…which would force countless Red Sox fan excusemakers to eat massive amounts of crow”

        This is a quick calculation on my part without pre-arb players but with projected salaries: $153MM for Boston, $203MM for New York. But what’s $50MM? That’s a small difference, right? (Well, it’s the difference between Boston and the 15th-highest payroll.) I mean, Boston’s 2nd in payroll, right? (Actually, 4th.)

        Boston doesn’t have anywhere CLOSE to the funds New York has. And we’re seeing that this offseason.

        But ignore facts and pretend that Boston has the funds to spend like New York if you want. If you have to lie to yourself, it’s all the same to me.

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        You are looking at last year’s numbers, Ari…try looking at what this year is shaping up to be. The Yankee payroll is dropping while the Red Sox payroll is rising. Both teams are somewhere around the luxury tax threshold according to most credible sources. And if you think that the Red Sox could afford to compete money-wise, you are even more delusional than I thought. The difference is that the Red Sox owners are cheapskates, not that they don’t have the money.

        Boston easily has the funds, they just don’t want to spend them. But if YOU want to lie to YOURSELF, by all means, have at it.

        Just remember, the payoff regarding what the two teams have spent over the years is what matters most Since the dawn of free agency, the Yankees have won SEVEN titles to the measly TWO that the Red Sox have won. Just think…if the Red Sox had been a little less tightwadish in their spending (and they did have the money), they might have won a few more titles. Red Sox fans can only wish that they had once had an owner such as King George, who not only spent but got a better rate of return on his spending. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t take SEVEN titles over TWO…and anyone who says otherwise is lying.

      • drewzducks - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        Please don’t make me agree with Bozos, but as a diehard Red Sox fan watching this line of PR bull which all stems from king Larry the puppet master is pathetic. They seem to be focusing their finances on a God damn futball team and an increasingly annoying network NESN which pumps out one crappy show after another in order to give Mrs. Henry a hobby. Their offseason moves or lack of at this point has been a perfect example of disorganization. From the new over his head GM, requiring Bud to sort out the compensation?, to the coach, did he quit or get fired?, to the new coach who either was their first or last choice, to the SP lack of depth, the patchwork rebuilt bullpen, the Crawford injury, and now Aviles/Punto at SS? If that was their plan why have Aviles playing OF in winter ball?

        As far as the ownership, hate him or not any Sox fan in their right mind would have loved George in charge of the team the last 30 years…not as convinced about the lucky sperm.

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        There might be hope for you yet, drewzsucks…MIGHT…though not likely. Maybe it was just a shining moment of lucidity on your part. And I’d rather be a “lucky sperm” than an “asshole baby” like you New England sports fans.

      • drewzducks - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        Hope for me but apparently hopeless for you bjsforall. The breadth of your knowledge about sports and apparently everything New England is too predictable. I have no problem pointing the areas sportsteams faults but you should look into some new material.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        Those ARE the current numbers, bozo.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        And no one denies that Yawkey was a terrible (and racist) owner. I’m just not sure why I should care. Boston has a pretty great tradition of winning, from the first part of the 20th century when they were the dominant team, through the rest of the century with their many beloved “almost” champions, to the current, highly successful franchise. They may not have won as much as the Yankees, but nobody has (and nor has anybody spent as much as the Yankees). They still have something like the 4th most titles, and they’re a great franchise now. So no, I can’t really muster any sort of bad feeling for the Yawkey years.

        Try focusing on the here and now, bozos. Boston has twice as many championships this millenium. But who knows, maybe your team will catch up!

  15. hammyofdoom - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Seeing how they only gave him 3 million dollars, I cant help but have a feeling that theres another shoe to drop. I dunno, just a gut feeling. But honestly, a right handed bat that murders lefties on the cheap is what the sox needed and they got it, good deal. He wont play every day by no meanas

  16. bosoxfan1950 - Jan 23, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    We still need Oswalt and maybe one more starter (either from inside the organization or acquisition) so that Aceves and Bard can return to the bull pen where they belong and where they excelled last year and where they are desperately needed. That, of course, depends upon how the “low-risk, high return” crew strut their stuff in ST. Methinks we get Oswalt now and then see how it goes in ST.
    Getting Ross is a big plus, IMHO, even considering that the other side of the ledger shows the loss of Scutaro. This is especially true since we’ve learned that Crawford will miss the beginning of the season. Wonder how long that actually turns out to be. As soon as Crawford is back and tearing the cover off of the ball, Darnell gets his DFA or put on waivers.Thanks for everything, Darnell, you sure helped! I was in a chat room following the game McDonald made his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform year before last. First at-bat. Hits a Home Run! Several chatters posted “Who the hell is Darnell McDonald” or some such. Instant hero.
    Anyway, stay tuned. I’m sure there’s much more to come.

  17. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Maybe he’ll go all Jason Bay/Mike Lowell and slap a few dozen balls over that billboard in LF, but I don’t see how the Sox got better today. Seems penny wise and pound foolish. Sure, they saved a few million, and maybe a few more by getting under the cap, but wouldn’t a playoff share offset that difference f they actually made the team better?

    • hammyofdoom - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM

      To compare mike lowell or Jason bay to Cody Ross is pretty far off, both had great years before they came to the Sox, mike Lowell averaged LESS homers as a Red Sox than Marlin and Ross is definately a 4th outfielder. The team DID get better since their biggest problem was facing lefty pitching and Ross has a career OPS over .900 against them. Scutaro was injury prone, older, and I really don’t think he’ll be able to play at SS for a full season any more. Besides September, Scutaro flat out sucked last year, and besides his 1.0 OPS in September, his OPS was closer to .69 throughout. Seriously, if Ross played right field full time for the Sox he’d probably still be better than how awful JD drew was in his last year.

  18. uyf1950 - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    I’ve been accused of being biased by some in my opinions here, as best I can tell for 2 reasons. First, because I’m a Yankees fan. Second be I don’t agree, can’t understand or the logic of some of the Red Sox recent moves escapes me. The first reason is never going to change as for the second reason well as of this morning that hasn’t changed either.

    The logic of jettisoning Scutaro’s $7.6MM reported contract was to 1 minimize the luxury tax implication, 2 to free up monies for a “pitcher” and 3 I would hope to make them better. The pitcher in question was reported to be Roy Oswalt. But instead the Red Sox sign a role player (Cody Ross) to a $3MM deal with incentives. Now people on this board can believe me or not. But as of today with the Ross signing and the Red Sox not signing another single player their payroll should be $180 to $181MM. And they still have not signed that elusive pitcher and they don’t have a regular starting SS any longer or a regular RF or a back end of their starting rotation other than to hope that Bard and Aceves can be converted from relief pitchers to starters. Now Oswalt or some other starter may yet be signed and bring the Red Sox payroll up to about $190MM +/-. But if that’s the case doesn’t it seem a little odd that the Red Sox would have gotten rid of their starting SS merely to save a million to 2 million dollars in luxury tax money for the 2012 season. When they could of potentially had both Scutaro and Oswalt instead of Ross and Oswalt.

    I’ll close but just posing one question. Shouldn’t the main objective of a team/GM/ownership concerned about their luxury tax be to sign the main or regular starters (the 8 position players/5 starters/DH) before they go about signing the complimentary pieces?

    • wendell7 - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:15 AM

      You make some good points, and they are well taken but I’m pretty sure they are not finished making deals yet.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      The problem is that you’re viewing the team has not having a regular SS, a regular RF, or a back end of their rotation. Cody Ross/Ryan Sweeney are their regular RF. Mike Aviles is their regular SS. Bard is their 4th starter and Aceves/Miller/Cook/Padilla/Matsuzaka etc. the back of their rotation.

      The dropoff from Scutaro to Aviles is minimal, especially given Scutaro’s age and injury concerns. Ross/Sweeney is BETTER by far than what they had last year. And the back of their rotation is a) near guaranteed to be better than it was last year, when Lackey was pitching though a disintegrating elbow, Wakefield was showing his age, and the depth they had after that was nonexistent, and b) no worse than most contenders’ #5 spots (remember when New York was derided for going with Garcia and Colon and Noval?).

      Sure, they could use a starting pitcher. So could everyone. But they don’t need one. They have tons of depth, far more than last year. At the same time, they had little depth in the OF, and no good RH bat there, and needed OF depth all the more once Crawford had wrist surgery.

      Boston had four good middle infielders and three good outfielders, all lefties. This deals from that first area of strength to help an area that was a little weak BEFORE Crawford’s surgery.

      I’m not sure how that’s illogical or backwards or odd. And what’s more, it brings Boston under the luxury tax threshold, which is a huge win for following offseasons.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Ari, you need to be consistent in your comments. Does this post of yours ring a bell? And I quote “Ari Collins – Jan 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM
        They’re already over it. And paying 40% (or something akin to it) on a cheap deal ain’t too bad.”

        Now in the post above you say and I quote “it brings Boston under the luxury tax threshold, which is a huge win for following offseasons.”

        Which is it? I can tell you they were over, are over and will be over the luxury tax threshold. Unless they dump somebody’s salary and pick up about $3 or $4MM LESS THEN they dump.

        As for the rest of your comments above. I’m not going to get into any more of a discussion about it. It is what it is.

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        Thanks for pointing out how idiotic the Red Sox fans are, uyf. Great analysis as usual.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        I made that comment before (I believe) the article came to light showing that Scutaro’s luxury tax hit was greater than his salary.

        But of course you would try to nitpick whether they are over or under or just at (and it’s hard to tell at this point) the luxury tax threshold, instead of addressing actual valid points. Have fun attempting to view everything Boston-related in a negative light!

      • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Oh, I have TONS of fun doing just that…though not near as much fun reading the delusional observations of you Red Sox fans. Worse GM, worse manager, worse rotation, worse defense (no SS), worse offense…maybe you guys got better batboys though?

    • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      Also, uyf, you’re confusing luxury tax AAV with payroll. Boston’s at about $153MM payroll, by my count (not counting pre-arb players, but counting arb estimates). What’s your count on the actual payroll?

  19. skeleteeth - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    WTF!

  20. damnyankee13 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I agree with Wendell, I dont understand the Sox’s moves either but something is up.They either have confidence in a prospect or 2 that will be ready soon{as I thought the Yankees were before that Seatlle trade] or they are playing their cards real close to the vest. Because, in my opinion, if something is not in the works yall will lose again. I dont think much of Bobby V and yall have improved your team a little, but is it enough?

  21. davebrownspiral - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Cashman has to get on the horn here and counter this Red Sox move. The addition of Ross clearly shifts the power balance in the division towards the Sox. If Cashman has the money and resources, perhaps they can land a free agent stud like Wilson Betemit or Mike Lamb, which would put the Yankees as the slight favorite to take the AL East over the Sox, Rays and Jays. Otherwise, I don’t know how the Yankees are supposed to compete with Cody Ross and company.

    • bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Nice use of sarcasm, davebrownspiral. LOL

  22. SOBEIT - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Red Sox Nation…you are getting a great character guy in Ross. I will miss him as a Giant. He will always be remembered for his post-season heroics.

    I think we got the most out of him and caught lightning in a bottle. There is still some magic in his bat if used properly. Just watch out for all the flying bats after he swings since he grips the handle very loosely.

    I wish him the best since he was a big part of bringing a championship to the Giants.

    But $3M, though very affordable for the Red Sox, is just too much for the Giants as a backup OFer. If he could hit from both sides of the plate, he would still be a Giant…and a starter.

  23. poprox13 - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Boooooooooo

  24. bigleagues - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I still say the Red Sox have acquired Ross and Sweeney as contingencies in case they don’t get Cepedes (and yes, I know they will have to find payroll room if they do sign him).

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