Apr. 25, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino in the dugout during game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Ross Interview Provides Insight Into Sox Negotiations

September 18, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross (7) gets ready to bat in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It may be over but Cody Ross couldn’t resist spilling the beans to the Boston Herald, MLB.com and others today about his frustrating negotiations with the Red Sox. Although Ross signed a three-year, $26-million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a one year team option for $9.5 million, the way Boston dealt with him appears to have left him a bit perplexed and disappointed.

Boston offered Ross an undisclosed two-year deal and then promptly signed Shane Victorino to a three-year, $39-million contract. Ouch. Speaking with a gaggle of reporters including MLB.com, Ross said “We just couldn’t agree on terms. At some point – just to be completely honest with you guys – they thought I was going to come back no matter what. That I loved playing there, and I did. It’s a great park. It’s Fenway Park. How can you not love playing at Fenway, going to work every day there? But I just wanted to be treated fairly. I wasn’t asking to be overpaid. I didn’t want to break the bank and they weren’t willing to do it. I’m sure there’s reasons why. I don’t know why. You have to ask them why. It just didn’t work out.”

The Ross negotiation was a curious one that makes you wonder just how the Sox arrived at their Victorino decision while apparently snubbing Ross in the process. Victorino and Ross are similar players. Both are dirt dogs. Both are 32. Both have been fan favorites. Both play right field.

In contrast, Victorino has more speed and higher lifetime batting average – .275 as opposed to Ross’ .262. Victorino has not, however, been a League Championship Series MVP and is not the known quantity that Ross had become in Boston.

Ross indicated that he had no problems with former Boston manager Bobby Valentine but that karma, injuries and miscommunication ultimately undid Boston’s year in a hurry. “If you looked at it on paper, our lineup was pretty ridiculous,” said Ross. “Our pitching staff was full of All-Stars. It was a team that I really thought would go a long way. Then we had injuries, the stuff happened with Bobby and some of the players. There were a lot of distractions. It was a tough year. But I chalk it off as a learning experience, another stepping stone in my career.”

Well spoken by a class act that Boston may ultimately end up missing more than they know, especially if Victorino doesn’t rebound.

Tempted by the fruit of another 
Tempted but the truth is discovered 
What’s been going on 
Now that you have gone 
There’s no other
- Tempted, Squeeze 

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Cody Ross

  • John Fahrer

    Victorino’s also a superior defensive outfielder, draws more walks, and strikes out less. Plus he provides insurance to bat leadoff and play center just in case Bradley’s not ready for full time duty come 2014.

    Ross was an excellent one year bargain. But Chad Finn said it best: “He’s one of those guys who’s just good enough that you’ll always be looking for somebody better.” He had every right to look for the best deal (as good as his 2012 season was, it still wasn’t as good as his 2009 season with the Marlins). In the end, he got the deal he wanted and then some. Added perks are that he lives in the Phoenix area and is much closer to the rest of his family in NM. He also has every right to vent his frustrations.

    At the same time, the Red Sox had every right to pursue an upgrade. Looking at both guys’ stats, Victorino does indeed look like the more dynamic player. If he takes advantage of the dimensions of his new home park, look for a nice rebound from him (a la Mike Lowell in 2006). If that happens, we’ll all be saying “Cody Who”?

  • John Fahrer

    The Gomes deal played a significant role in how the club went about their negotiations with Ross. They got another platoon right-handed bat (Ross was initially brought in to platoon with Sweeney. But things changed with Sweeney’s injuries and subpar performance) at a relatively low price. Signing Ross would’ve been repetitive. Two guys who mash lefties, but not too good vs righties. Ross’s road splits were pretty bad too.