The Red Sox signed Cody Ross over the past winter to a one-year, $3MM deal and as I’ve previously written, it’s looking like the steal of the off season. Ross has delivered exactly as advertised for Boston this season, both on and off the field and with his contract set to expire in October, the Red Sox need to start thinking about signing him to an extension sooner, rather than later.
On the season, the former NLCS MVP has an impressive slash line of .272/.337/.517/.854 with 18 home runs and 60 RBI. His statistics are all above his career averages and he could make a run at a career high in long balls if he can continue to mash at the plate. All the more reason to sign Ross to a multi-year deal to keep him in Boston and start having some consistency in an outfield that has been a revolving door over the past two seasons, thanks mainly to injuries.
Ross is not injury free by any means, but to date he’s played in 91 games and with just over 40 left on the season, he could be on par for that 120-125 mark, a respectable number this season for any Red Sox player.
But Ross brings more to the Red Sox than just his offensive prowess. His character is said to be a hit with all his teammates in the clubhouse and given how we’ve all heard about the ongoing issues with the Red Sox chemistry, Cody Ross is a step in the right direction. Trimming the fat or the cancer in the clubhouse is imperative if the Red Sox plan on competing in the next few years and what a better guy to have to help mold that much needed breath of fresh air than Ross.
It also helps that Ross has made it clear that he wants to remain in Boston after this season, a mutual feeling between he and the club at least according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
It’s speculated that Ross could be in the neighborhood of a Josh Willingham type deal at 3-years, $21MM. Certainly a reasonable amount of money for the 31-year old who still has plenty of gas in the tank. Some might waffle at the idea of giving him 3-years, citing that Ryan Kalish is ready to step into right field on a full time basis as early as next season. That is certainly worth entertaining but given Kalish’s rash of injuries and inability to stay healthy, he may be better served as an asset in the trade market this offseason.
With Jackie Bradley Jr. looking ever so promising in the minor leagues, having Ross around for a few more years until Bradley is ready is a solid strategy. With the possibility that Jacoby Ellsbury may not be around much longer either, holding on to a steady bat in Ross could become a pressing matter, one that Ben Cherington will need to consider.
There will be multiple teams lining up to talk to Cody Ross this winter, if he does indeed become a free-agent. With many clubs needing a right-handed bat, Ross could cash in thanks to his stellar play this year in Boston. So it is in the Red Sox best interest to start discussing the idea of an extension for number 7 and avoid the idea of waiting until the winter and the possibility of exposing him to other clubs.