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Cody Ross would be a waste of money for Orioles

Nov 12, 2012, 6:04 PM EDT

Cody Ross Getty Images

Based on the strength of a .267/.326/.481 campaign with Boston, free agent Cody Ross is seeking a three-year deal worth at least $6 million and maybe as much as $8 million per season. Word is that the Orioles are one of the teams pursuing him.

They shouldn’t be.

In Nolan Reimold, the Orioles have a right-handed-hitting outfielder with a career line of .261/.338/.455 in 808 major league at-bats.

Ross, the older of the two by nearly three years, has a .262/.324/.460 line in 2,912 at-bats. And he’ll probably make at least five times as much as Reimold next year.

The only reason for the Orioles to consider Ross is if they don’t think Reimold can come back from last year’s neck surgery to fuse together two vertebrae. Reimold, though, has resumed working out and is expected to be ready to go in spring training. If Reimold is back at 100 percent, then Ross isn’t any kind of upgrade for Baltimore. He’d probably be a downgrade.

By signing Ross, the Orioles would simply be paying for certainty. And it’s not worth it, particularly not with a $20 million price tag. Ross isn’t any sort of star. He hammers left-handers, but he’ll probably revert to being below average against right-handers outside of Fenway Park next season (Ross hit .298/.356/.565 in Boston last season and .232/.294/.390 everywhere else). He’s a career .253/.312/.415 hitter against righties.

When it comes to left field, the Orioles either need to go big or stay home. It’s worth weighing the pros and cons of Josh Hamilton and maybe seeing if they have the right pieces to intrigue the Diamondbacks on a Justin Upton trade. But unless they can get a star, they should stick with Reimold and maybe re-sign Nate McLouth as a fallback. If that doesn’t work out, they can trade for another solution come June or July. But even in the worst case, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which they’re going to be really disappointed about missing out on Cody Ross.

  1. phalatek6 - Nov 12, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Yeah, as an Orioles fan, I’m not thrilled with the thought of Cody Ross. I however don’t want Josh Hamilton either. Or Johnny Gomes. I’m one of the fans that would be happier to see the return of McLouth than to sacrifice defense or give way to the Josh Hamilton circus.

    The Upton idea intrigues me, but can he move to LF? Because you aren’t displacing Markakis in right.

    • psuravens19 - Nov 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      I agree… The O’s signing Ross makes very little sense. I’d rather them make a run at Hamilton, Upton, Upton, or Bourne. If none of that works, resign McLouth and let him and Reimold fight it out in Spring Training.

      • bigtimer - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:24 PM

        BJ Upton and Bourn (no e) are center fielders so they’re out of the equation. You have to be willing to part with at least two of the young pitchers (matusz, arrieta, tillman, etc) AND probably another prospect like Jonathan Schoop to get Justin Upton. And, as phalatek6 says, will he even move to LF. Angelos will not fork over the kind of money it will take to get Hamilton. Reimold is good, but he can;t stay healthy, so I agree with bringing back McLouth as a “fallback option” However, as McLouth proved in his time in Atlanta, and last year between Pittsburgh and Baltimore, he needs to play every day to be productive, and if Reimold is healthy, he’s going to play so I’m ultimately confused as to how the Orioles will resolve the left field situation

  2. dcfan4life - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Wouldnt be the worst free agent signing in Baltimore in recent years. Albert Belle, Bobby Bonilla, Miguel Tejada are just a few that come to mind.

    • randomdigits - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:21 AM

      You left out all the bullpen signings, folks like Baez and Gregg.

      Tejada signing worked out pretty ok tho, at least the first time.

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