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Diamondbacks reach three-year, $26 million deal with Cody Ross

Dec 22, 2012, 12:36 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

UPDATE: Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that Ross got a three-year, $26 million contract. The deal includes a club option for 2016 which carries a $1 million buyout. Not a bad deal for someone who made $3 million in 2012.

12:01 PM: According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Cody Ross has reached agreement with the Diamondbacks on a three-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved.

This is a pretty surprising destination for Ross, as he hasn’t been linked to the Diamondbacks at all this winter. The latest we heard was a meeting with the Rangers earlier this week.

The Diamondbacks already have Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton in-house, so the addition of Ross is a bit superfluous on the surface. However, general manager Kevin Towers now figures to step up his efforts to trade an outfielder, likely Kubel. And I suppose it’s possible Upton could be dealt if they are blown away by an offer.

Ross, who turns 32 tomorrow, batted .267/.326/.481 with 22 home runs, 81 RBI and an .807 OPS in 130 games this past season with the Red Sox. He enjoyed most of his success at Fenway Park, but he should have a decent chance at a comparable follow-up playing half of his games at the hitter-friendly Chase Field.

  1. dwrek5 - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I like the fit with Kubel, Parra, and Eaton being righties. But 3 years?

    • dwrek5 - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      * lefties

    • bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      So Ross get’s approx 8.33M per year’13-’15 with Kubel getting 7.5M per in ’13 and ’14.

      Hmmmmm …

      • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        He’s actually getting $9M/year (with the $1M buyout). Just a really strange signing. Doesn’t fill a need (unless they consider that need to be a RHB, which is odd, since 75% of pitches are thrown by LHP) or upgrade at a position. Even if their plan is to trade Kubel, they’ve just undercut their bargaining position….and the market for Kubel won’t be particularly large either.

      • bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        The market could be big enough, considering the Rangers gaping hole and the Red Sox obvious need for another LH power bat.

      • bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Although, I did read that the a source in the Red Sox front office has asserted that they’d be comfortable with Kalish/Nava in LF taking AB’s vs vs RHP.

      • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        The Rangers need a CF, not a corner OF.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    At a time of the year when most of the beisbol news has subsided into a rummaging of the middens, minor league contracts, emigrations to the land of Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra (with those little singing elves, Buddha bless ‘em – I take those two over Kelly Clarkson any day) and non-roster invitations, any element of “surprise” is welcome.

    Of course, as I cruise along the Dolfeen Expressway past that thalidomide Cuisinart called home by the Feesh, I am reminded regularly that my viewpoint is necessarily jaundiced….

    Jaundice it is! Give him the antidote…..

    • chacochicken - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Is this word salad? It has been a traumatic 2012 for the Marlins.

      • cur68 - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        You just count your blessings. Only one word NOT in English, two spanglishisms, and he used italics for his aside. Balanced against the single period, two sets of ellipses, and the hyphen-ed parentheses, this is not bad. Wait till we get to in-season commentary. Bring a thesaurus.

      • chacochicken - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        I’ve read the Gator’s musing before but never in the history of the English language have the words “thalidomide” and “Cuisinart” ever been used in the same paragraph much less the sentence. I, however, will look forward to his future rhapsodizing, thesaurus in hand.

      • cur68 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        thalidomide Cuisinart

        I take your meaning. There’s a couple of ways to read this, I guess. We could go with “Thalidomide Brandâ„¢, Cuisinart”. As in, “not a name you trust”. Or we can go with “That poor stadium! Someone gave its momma Thalidomide and it was born without…something Gator thinks it needs”. Personally, I think he means both at once. He likes to get a lot of mileage out of these things.

    • stex52 - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      And the aside, for those of you under 60, was from “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like HIm.” Firesign Theatre, circa 1971.

      “This is Side Five.
      Follow in your books as we learn our next three words in Turkish.”
      “Towel. Bath. Border………..May I see your passport, please?”

      • Old Gator - Dec 23, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        Why yes, I have it right here….

  3. bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Meh.

    And so it seems, and so it be.

    Ross was fun but he’s streaky, would cost too much for the player that he is (basically Gomes) and would be another RH bat that the Sox do not need right now.

    Towers probably figures that Ross is a slight downgrade from Kubel and you’d have to imagine less expensive than Kubel will cost long term.

    Look at their career 162 Game AVG, BTW – they are virtually the same player production-wise.

    This has me wondering if this is somewhat of a non-trade swap. Kubel would be a good fit for the Red Sox. Sure he sucks defensively, but they need another capable LH bat and Kubel fits that bill nicely. A stable OF of Kubel/Ellsbury/Victorino would be a definite upgrade over that rotating AAAA mix we had last season.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Except the Sox really can’t play Gomes against RHP’ing because over the past 2 years he hasn’t been able to hit them worth a lick and Gomes offense is much worse than Cody Ross’s. So is $5mm a year plus having a guy who’s defense is lacking and you have to platoon really cheaper then someone whose cost is $8.66mm per and is better defensively and can play against both lefties and righties really a bargain?

      I guess the way I see it is if Victorino who as of right now will be playing out of position in RF was worth 3 years / $39MM to the Red Sox. Surely Cody Ross should have been worth 3 years / $25MM plus to them.

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        But… Ross can’t hit righties either, thats the whole point. His OPS against righties the past 3 years, starting in 2012: .730 .740 and .686. Same thing for Gomes: .715 .654 .709, all while hitting lefties just as hard as Ross does. Gomes offense is the exact friggin’ same as Cody Ross’s and I really want to know why people hold Ross as highly as they do since he gets for OK power and gets on base at a very poor rate. Yes, Ross is a far better defender but when you have Victorino in Right, Ellsbury in center and the fact he will essentially only play against lefties the fact that they can hide him in the shortest left field in baseball without there being a ton of damage being done.

      • bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        On the surface, I can’t disagree with what you said.

        However, Victorino still provides speed and defense that is superior to Ross. And the Flyin Hawaiian’s career OPS (.770) and OPS+ (.102) is a virtual wash w/ Ross OPS (.783) & OPS+(.107) and they will both be 32 years old.

        Also Ross was no All-star vs RHP. Just like Gomes, Ross’ 2012 #’s were propped up greatly by his LHP #’s. And again their comparative 2012 OPS vs RHP is a virtual wash.

        I think people are underestimating the danger presented by a lineup that includes Ellsbury/Pedroia/Victorino (although Ellsbury seems likely to be traded by July 31).

        And that’s another thing, Victorino hedges their bet on Ellsbury buying them additional time to develop Bradley.

        The more this team comes together, the more clear – and smart – the plan becomes.

        The addition of a solid LH bat could upgrade this lineup to fearsome.

        But, depending on what happens with Napoli, this would already be a deeper team in terms of MLB talent than they had last year.

      • bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Yeah, also what Hammy said :-)

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        Bwaha thanks Bigleagues. I can definitely tell that finals are over with… my grammar keeps getting worse and worse in my posts, soon I’ll just be typing guttural noises with the occasional stat thrown in

      • uyf1950 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        hammyofdoom, The Red Sox can hide him left field, just like they hid Crawford in left field? Just because there is that wall there doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to play. As I seem to recall Crawford was a darn good outfielder with the Rays, when he came to Boston he couldn’t get out of his own way in left field. Don’t underestimate that it may take more to play left field in Boston then you think. As for Victorino playing right field it’s been 6 years since he’s played any significant defense in right field that could be a problem for him as well.

  4. thebadguyswon - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Nuts.

  5. chacochicken - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    This is the kind of savvy move that gets put on a list of why a general manager gets fired.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      I have nothing to add other than I love this post. Kudos sir, well played

  6. macjacmccoy - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    As a Phillies fan I couldnt be happier. Rather see what Brown and Ruf can do as everyday players then have Ross force them into a platoon or force Ruf down.

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      Say it with me….Vernon Wells, starting LF of the 2013 Philladelphia Phillies. :-D

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        Vernon and his best friend Michael Young on the same team makes sense to me.

  7. adcoop22 - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    We already have 4 capable outfielders and others in waiting, so that leaves the same question we have all been asking KT this off season…why?

  8. 13arod - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    why not ross,kubel,upton perfect outfield

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Because none of those guys are even remotely capable of playing CF, and Kubel and Ross are below average corner OFers (and likely will only get worse as they are both on the wrong side of 30).

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Is he really below-average defensively? I’m not saying your wrong, but the one thing I have always heard about Ross is that he is a rather great defensive RF.

      • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Ross has been roughly average for a corner OF throughout his career, can’t recall anyone actually calling him good. He’s not embarrassing out there, but his range is pretty bad. The thing is that most teams now totally punt on LF and RF defense, setting the bar very low for comparisons.

  9. hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Well, apparently 5 million dollars a year for Jonny Gomes wasn’t that bad a deal… is the added defense really worth 16 million dollars more for the exact same offensive player?

    • bigleagues - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      $16M?

      If they kept Ross they’d have to pay in the same range that he is getting now in AZ.

      So at most the difference about $10M.

      Never-the-less, your point is valid and we shall see. I will reiterate that Victorino at least hedges their bets in CF in the vent that Ellsbury is dealth or walks and they need to buy time for Bradley to develop further. So that has a value as well.

      • hammyofdoom - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        Well I was just going off of the plain 2/10 3/26 comparison, not 3/15 versus 3/26. The big deal for the Red Sox was that they would never go 3 years and I doubt Ross would have gone for 2 so that’s why I said 16 as opposed to 10.

        And I’m still 50/50 on Ellsbury being dealt. A package of Ellsbury, a couple bullpen arms and one or two prospects could probably fetch them a decent pitcher and it seems like they are gearing up for that

  10. illcomm - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    paperlions. close. but it will be soriano starting in left field. Phils picking up 2/16

    • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      I think that would be a great deal for Philly….far better value and production than any of the FA options….and if they throw in Brown, they can probably get Chicago to eat even more of the contract.

  11. bricktop02 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Being a phillies fan I couldn’t be more unhappy. Ruf is unproven & Brown is a horrible fielder with a weak bat & potato chip knees. Ross would have been a good fit.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Absolutely. I heard RAJ wasn’t happy with Ross’ pricetag. $8.67 Mil/year? Are you kidding me?? For a guy that could hit 20-25 homeruns at CBP, that’s a steal. Seriously RAJ you couldn’t offer him 3 years $27 mil? I find that ridiculous. The Phils brass keeps telling us that their number one priority this off-season was a power-hitting, corner outfielder. Then they come out and offer $20 mil less than the Braves for BJ Upton (who was supposedly their #1 target), refuse to offer more than 3 years to Josh Hamilton (may or may not be smart, we’ll see), and apparently weren’t even in on Cody Ross. Vernon Wells and Scott Hairston are somehow better fits in the Phils lineup than those guys? It’s mind boggling. I was completely on board with Amaro making low cost maneuvers with Revere and Young, and I like adding Mike Adams, but c’mon Ross would’ve fit in well in Philly.

      • paperlions - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Yeah, that is exactly what the Phillies should have done…..signed a guy that can only hit LHP for his age 33, 34, and 35 seasons. That is exactly the type of move than an old and unathletic team needs to make.

  12. timpaz - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    What are the DBacks thinking? This guys no better than any of the other outfielders they have, and to overpay him, Towers is a proving to be another bad GM hire

  13. dkphilly1122 - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    As a Phillies fan I couldn’t be happier with Ross signing anywhere else but Philly. They will get someone by the trade deadline, not old bums Soriano or Wells. They are gonna let Ruff play and prove everyone against him wrong saying he isn’t good, hasn’t done anything and “he is 26 and just getting into the bigs”. He obviously has power and a short swing for contact too. In the short time he came up at the end of last year he didn’t look bad at all, regardless of what his critics thing or assume. I would rather him over Brown any day.

  14. cackalackyank - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I am prepared for a barage of thumbs down here…but I think this is the precursor of an Upton trade. Dbacks are not going to be able keep him…so they will trade him if not sooner, then later

    • tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      I read some interesting comments elsewhere that sounded logical…..

      While Upton’s trade value was lower then Towers expected, Upton did have a good 2nd half last year. One theory is that the Backs hope he continues to play well and trade him in-season.

      I’m thinking the Rangers still like him. It would make sense to me if the Rangers signed Bourn to be the CF they need (and a lead-off man wouldn’t hurt), then do a 3-way with a team that wants Kiensler (a number of teams are looking for a right-handed bat with some power) and will give some young players that Towers wants so the Rangers can get Upton. Of course, the Rangers could do the same thing without signing Bourn (giving the position to martin) and from all the Arizona and California guys on the backs roster, maybe the Backs would be happy to take Kielsler and have him pay 3B or move Hill there (are they really going to play Chavez there all year?)….obviously, other players would have to be involved.

  15. sportsnut101 - Dec 22, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    They overpaid big time. I love how teams over pay for so many average players.

    He had a nice 2nd half n playoff run 2 yrs ago so what’s he getting rewarded for now

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