September 20, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross (7) and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (2) in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Ross Still In Play, Looking For a Sign

Sox GM Ben Cherington said in today’s Boston Globe that Cody Ross is still very much in play as a potential piece of Boston’s 2013 puzzle. I like the guy a lot. He’s obviously great in the clubhouse and had a very good year in the midst of a monumentally bad season for the team. Still, after the acquisitions of Shane Victorino – who was signed for more money than Boston was at least initially willing to play Ross and Jonny Gomes it’s hard to see where he fits in. If Nick Swisher joins the club you then you’ve got a full on crowded house in the outfield.

The Globe’s Nick Cafardo also reported today that Boston may still be shopping Jacoby Ellsbury. If Ellsbury were traded Boston would likely move Victorino to center field and then go hard after Ross. Nothing meaningful to date has transpired regarding Ellsbury so the man in whom the the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Yankees, and Orioles are interested but still has no deal remains in limbo.

Cherington is leaving some wiggle room to jump start talks but provided no solid information. “We have not closed the door by any means,” Cherington told Cafardo about Ross. “I have not had a conversation recently with him. But no we have not closed the door.”

Cherington also squashed the Ellsbury speculation. When asked about his comments at the winter meetings that he was not looking to deal Jacoby Ellsbury, Cherington said “Nothing’s changed on that.”

The Ross story is a bit of a head scratcher at this point. While Boston has successfully avoided the long-term mega deals that broke both the bank and fans’ spirits, a case can be made that they have overspent for mediocre talent.
Both Victorino and Mike Napoli, who’s signing appears more remote by the day, were on the hefty side at $39 million for three years each after lousy seasons. With Josh Hamilton off the table Swisher will be looking for, by some estimates, something in the neighborhood of a $60 million +, four-year contract. If the Napoli deal falls through Boston just may bite on it, effectively killing any chance to sign Ross and possibly getting taken to the cleaners by Swisher in the process.
As the club turns the mid-winter corner and heads to spring training the drum beat to complete these deals is becoming more insistent. Here’s hoping Cherington and company can keep this newly reconfigured work in progress in rhythm.
I don’t want to work
I want to bang on the drum all day
I don’t want to play
I just want to bang on the drum all day
- Bang The Drum All Day, Todd Rundgren

Tags: Boston Red Sox Cody Ross

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