Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo

Cody Ross


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
131 replies to this topic

#51 Paul M


  • SoSH Member


  • 10,381 posts

Posted 03 September 2012 - 10:10 AM

Cody Ross has a .311 OBP vs. RHP and a .298 on the road. This reminds me of the older Sox teams with guys who could murder LHP at Fenway and look terrible on the road especially against RHP. He's a great 4th OF but he's not a core offensive player.

This team needs to get back to its principles in many ways and OBP seems to have been missing. Even Middlebrooks vs. RHP also was in the .312 range but I am sure that will go up over the next few years.

#52 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,945 posts

Posted 03 September 2012 - 03:42 PM

Cody Ross has a .311 OBP vs. RHP and a .298 on the road. This reminds me of the older Sox teams with guys who could murder LHP at Fenway and look terrible on the road especially against RHP.


Older Sox teams like, for instance, 2004, with guys like Kevin Millar (1.018/.689 home/road split), Bill Mueller (.993/.638), and Jason Varitek (.960/.784)? Or maybe 2007, with guys like Pedroia (.912/.729), Lowell (.933/.767), or Lugo (.745/.547)?

It's true that this year's team has a bigger home/road split overall than the '04 and '07 teams, but I think blaming Ross for this is missing the point. The problem isn't that we have guys who hit better at home; every team should have guys whose offensive skills are tailor-made for the home park. The problem is that the guys we have who should be better on the road--including one guy who was hired at extremely high cost, partly for his supposed ability to excel in road parks--were either injured, underperforming, or both.

If somebody left the tequila out of your margarita, would you say the problem was an excess of lime juice?

The OBP part is a different and more reasonable criticism. It does seem as if the Sox have devalued excellence in this category, and I'm not sure why.

#53 OCD SS


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,902 posts

Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:26 PM

Savin, I think you are confusing playing in Fenway for some sort of special skill that the Sox need to pay for with the park exaggerating a certain offensive profile. A player with that profile can be dropped into Fenway and get the same boost Ross does. Paying for something the park itself will provide seems foolish.

You'll note that the players on 2004 and 2007 that you refer to who were good values were on cheap contracts below what you are advocating for Ross. Lugo was a disaster, Varitek was an offensive minded catcher (who leveraged positional scarcity and being team captain with "intangibles" into his deal), and Lowell turned a fluke second half with an elevated BABIP for a bunch of extra singles into a regrettable contract the Sox would've been better off to let the Phillies pay for. These are examples of why the Sox should not be offering Ross a premium, and why he should certainly not be handed the keys as a starting player in the OF.

You are advocating paying for the label of "Fenway Hitter", similar to the way Billy Beane had teams paying for the "proven closers" he kept manufacturing in Oakland.

#54 ToeKneeArmAss


  • Paul Byrd's pitching coach


  • 2,299 posts

Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:34 PM

I like Ross, but the splits are unsettling. 3/27 seems irrationally high to me.

Could you structure something where the first year is a nice bump over 2012 (say $6MM) followed by a one-time team option for 2 seasons at $9MM per, or if the team doesn't bite, a player option of 1yr/$6MM?

This gets him to 3/24 if he performs next year, and caps us at 2/12 if he doesn't.

#55 yecul


  • appreciates irony very much


  • 14,417 posts

Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:03 PM

Regarding Ross I am with Sprowl. Make him an offer you can tolerate and move on if he gets better. A mil or two there is no big deal, but limit the years and don't go overboard. 2 years is a nice offer -- better than he got THIS year and now he's older.

#56 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,945 posts

Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:09 PM

Savin, I think you are confusing playing in Fenway for some sort of special skill that the Sox need to pay for with the park exaggerating a certain offensive profile. A player with that profile can be dropped into Fenway and get the same boost Ross does. Paying for something the park itself will provide seems foolish.


I'm not sure what difference there is between a "special skill" and a "certain offensive profile." Call it whichever you like; some hitters' offensive games just play better at Fenway than elsewhere. You can say that this is something "the park itself will provide," but since the park won't provide it to just anybody, but only to hitters with that certain profile, I'm not sure what difference that makes.

I'm certainly not suggesting that we pay Ross more than he's worth because he's a good Fenway hitter. I was responding to Paul M. by saying that the most successful Sox teams in recent memory also had several players who hit much better at Fenway than on the road, so the presence of such players on the current Sox team doesn't represent a change in philosophy.

You'll note that the players on 2004 and 2007 that you refer to who were good values were on cheap contracts below what you are advocating for Ross.


Actually Varitek in 2004 was making $6.9M, almost exactly what I am "advocating" for Ross, and it was worth more then; Lowell was making $9M in 2007. (I'm not really advocating any particular contract for Ross, BTW, just saying that if the Sox were to offer $7-8M a year I don't think it would be an overpay. The years part is tougher; I'm inclined to think 3 years would be OK, but I'd be more comfortable with 2 + an option.)

You are advocating paying for the label of "Fenway Hitter", similar to the way Billy Beane had teams paying for the "proven closers" he kept manufacturing in Oakland.


I'm not advocating paying for a label at all. I don't think that way. I'm saying that because Ross's offensive skills are particularly well suited to Fenway, he has a greater real value to us than he might to other teams. It's not about labels, it's about runs and wins.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 03 September 2012 - 09:10 PM.


#57 Drek717

  • 2,152 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:40 AM

Savin, I think you are confusing playing in Fenway for some sort of special skill that the Sox need to pay for with the park exaggerating a certain offensive profile. A player with that profile can be dropped into Fenway and get the same boost Ross does. Paying for something the park itself will provide seems foolish.

But who else are we sure to get that "ceratin offensive profile" from?

The FO has clearly identified that with Ross, who along with being a very good Fenway hitter is also a strong career hitter against lefties and capable of playing all three OF spots (including center in a pinch) for us.

Overpaying Ross in money but not years to be the 4th OF and platoon with someone like Choo is exactly what the new found financial flexibility should be used on. That is how they can leverage their financial superiority into being competitive year in and year out without the long term albatross contracts they just got out from underneath.

#58 Paul M


  • SoSH Member


  • 10,381 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:13 AM

I probably conflated it with the home-road issue, but the bigger one is simply Ross is not good enough to play everyday vs. RHP. In a perfect world he's the guy who gets 325 ABs and not 650--start vs. all LHP and some RHP at Fenway. This is not to say don't bring him back but price his skills appropriately and teh Sox *should be the team that values him the most when all is said and done given that he does fill a clear void. Focusing on what he can do well a Bill James maxim probably means he's back and that's a good thing but within reason.

#59 OCD SS


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,902 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:55 AM

I'm not sure what difference there is between a "special skill" and a "certain offensive profile." Call it whichever you like; some hitters' offensive games just play better at Fenway than elsewhere. You can say that this is something "the park itself will provide," but since the park won't provide it to just anybody, but only to hitters with that certain profile, I'm not sure what difference that makes.


Is it really that hard to identify RH pull flyball hitters with enough power that their bloops scrape or just get over the Monster? Is that really so tough for Boston's scouts to find? And then we have a player who is going to provide substandard production in the other 82 games they play.

Actually Varitek in 2004 was making $6.9M, almost exactly what I am "advocating" for Ross, and it was worth more then; Lowell was making $9M in 2007. (I'm not really advocating any particular contract for Ross, BTW, just saying that if the Sox were to offer $7-8M a year I don't think it would be an overpay. The years part is tougher; I'm inclined to think 3 years would be OK, but I'd be more comfortable with 2 + an option.)


Using the single salary numbers is a bit disingenuous when you're looking at multi-year contracts or contracts that either bought out or were derived through arbitration. Lowell turned his nice little career year into a bad contract for the Red Sox going forward, and that is the more useful analogy. The most the Sox should offer Ross is 1 year + an option, IMO (see below). I'm not seeing much to actually justify the Sox spending more than that.

I'm not advocating paying for a label at all. I don't think that way. I'm saying that because Ross's offensive skills are particularly well suited to Fenway, he has a greater real value to us than he might to other teams. It's not about labels, it's about runs and wins.


I used the labels to illustrate how I see the contract you're suggesting is a clear overpayment for Cody Ross. So let's consider another, simpler label: Platoon Player. If Ross can be signed to a deal where that is his roll, fine. If not, move on to the next one-year wonder. Ross may have greater real value, but it is also value that the Sox don't need to pay him for because the value is built into Fenway;

The FO has clearly identified that with Ross, who along with being a very good Fenway hitter is also a strong career hitter against lefties and capable of playing all three OF spots (including center in a pinch) for us.


While I think you're overstating his defensive utility (he should probably only play CF for one game in an emergency while they wait for an actual CFer to arrive from Pawtucket), I'll agree that it is a point in his favor that I do like.

Overpaying Ross in money but not years to be the 4th OF and platoon with someone like Choo is exactly what the new found financial flexibility should be used on. That is how they can leverage their financial superiority into being competitive year in and year out without the long term albatross contracts they just got out from underneath.


No one has really added the prospect cost of Choo into this discussion, but I don't see any reason to clog the roster with Ross's decline for the next 3 years when someone else can do the job cheaper and likely just as well, like say Linares. The Sox are still need to eventually pay some large FA contracts, and it is hard to justify overpaying for a platoon player who should only be a 4th OF. Regaining financial flexibility doesn't mean that they should start overpaying for mediocre players.

I pretty much do agree with Paul M, I'd be happy to have Ross back, but with the understanding of what kind of roll he would have. If you're going to platoon him with Choo, does he know that going in and buy into that roll?

#60 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,326 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:42 AM

I used the labels to illustrate how I see the contract you're suggesting is a clear overpayment for Cody Ross. So let's consider another, simpler label: Platoon Player. If Ross can be signed to a deal where that is his roll, fine. If not, move on to the next one-year wonder. Ross may have greater real value, but it is also value that the Sox don't need to pay him for because the value is built into Fenway;

This is an idea that is currently in vogue on this board but is not as easy as people like to think. There are only a few one-year wonders who are cheaply available in any given offseason. Identifying such players consistently is a pipe dream. Getting these players is not simply a product of good scouting, analysis, etc. but of luck. For every Cody Ross you find, you also get a Mike Cameron, a Brad Penny, and a John Smoltz. It's not always a bad idea to take risks on players you think can outperform their market value and are available on low cost deals, but you certainly can't build a championship caliber team by relying on hitting the lottery with borderline players that no other team values every off season.

No one has really added the prospect cost of Choo into this discussion, but I don't see any reason to clog the roster with Ross's decline for the next 3 years when someone else can do the job cheaper and likely just as well, like say Linares. The Sox are still need to eventually pay some large FA contracts, and it is hard to justify overpaying for a platoon player who should only be a 4th OF. Regaining financial flexibility doesn't mean that they should start overpaying for mediocre players.

Looking at Linares as a Ross substitute is prospect wish-casting of the highest order (and I say this as someone who deserves a reputation as an eternal optimist when it comes to prospects). Linares has struggled in his adjustment to AAA and is very clearly not yet ready for MLB. The jump from AA to AAA has seen him go from a 9.2% walk rate to 3.2%. He has gone from striking out in 12.6% of plate appearances to 16.7%. He has seen his ISO decline from .205 to .182 and his BABIP drop from .356 to .321. All of these indicate that he hasn't adjusted to AAA yet and you are talking about wanting to use his .296/.321/.478 AAA line to replace a guy who has hit .274/.337/.501 in MLB this year? Linares is someone who would likely struggle to keep his performance above replacement level if exposed to MLB next year.

Where I do agree with you is that I can't see a justification for a multi-year deal for Ross. Depending on what other moves are made, I could see overpaying for him on a one year deal, even so far as extending a qualifying offer. But, while I could accept a 1/12 deal, I would not offer a 3/24 deal. Between Linares and Brentz, there is a reasonably good chance the organization has an in-house option at RF that will be close to as good as Ross by the beginning of 2014. And, while neither of those prospects are good enough to worry about blocking if you could, say, acquire Justin Upton, both are good enough that you should absolutely not create a situation where they are blocked by an overpaid and declining Cody Ross.

I like Ross and would love to have him back for next year, but I do not want him to be the next Mike Lowell where we continue to pay him what he was worth in 2012 through 2015 despite the near certainty that he will be a shadow of his current self in 3 more years.

#61 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,945 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:50 AM

I used the labels to illustrate how I see the contract you're suggesting is a clear overpayment for Cody Ross. So let's consider another, simpler label: Platoon Player. If Ross can be signed to a deal where that is his roll, fine. If not, move on to the next one-year wonder. Ross may have greater real value, but it is also value that the Sox don't need to pay him for because the value is built into Fenway;


You've said this twice now, and I can't make sense of it. Is this "value built into Fenway" equally operative for all hitters? If it's not--if Cody Ross somehow taps into more of that value than most hitters of otherwise comparable overall ability--then I can't see any practical difference between saying that the value is built into Fenway, and that the value is built into Cody Ross. And if it's built into Ross it's reasonable to pay him for it.

#62 ThePieholeOfDavidWells

  • 62 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:01 PM

I like Ross, but the splits are unsettling. 3/27 seems irrationally high to me.


This is the fucking truth. If Cherington signs Ross to a deal like this, we'll know he absorbed nothing about the relative weaknesses of Duquette or Theo. One of Duquette's best signings was Troy O'Leary, who turned out later to be one of his worst when Duke extended him with a 4 year, $14.8MM contract.

Ross is a decent 4th outfielder/platoon partner and should not be starting for the Boston Red Sox. He provides decent offense in a ballpark with a 109 1-year BB-ref park factor.

If you get unexpectedly good years from a player like Ross, you walk away. Let someone else overpay him for his inevitable return to merely decent. That also will be to your competitive advantage. Perhaps this is the new market inefficiency the Red Sox have been looking for: let other teams overpay your 1-year wonders.

#63 Paul M


  • SoSH Member


  • 10,381 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

Reed Johnson doesn't have the same pop, but for years it seems he can be a .825+ OPS vs. LHP for a $1-2 million per year. He's generally considered pretty decent with the glove. I'm not suggesting Johnson for the Sox but more to say RH platoon OFs are not worth 3 year deals. Another example would be Kapler. To be clear Ross is better but Kapler and Johnson in their careers never made even $3.5 million in one year.

#64 Drek717

  • 2,152 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:54 PM

No one has really added the prospect cost of Choo into this discussion, but I don't see any reason to clog the roster with Ross's decline for the next 3 years when someone else can do the job cheaper and likely just as well, like say Linares. The Sox are still need to eventually pay some large FA contracts, and it is hard to justify overpaying for a platoon player who should only be a 4th OF. Regaining financial flexibility doesn't mean that they should start overpaying for mediocre players.

Sure, but the entire idea of acquiring Choo hinges on that acquisition cost being (very) reasonable. Otherwise I'd rather see them go with someone like Torii Hunter on a one year deal to play RF while Ross and Kalish platoon in LF.

As for Linares as the alternative to Ross - I see that as a viable option should Ross price himself out of our comfort zone. Otherwise Linares hasn't proven nearly enough to give this team what it needs more than anything else in 2013, assured production.

Look at the 2013 OF as of now. Ellsbury and Kalish. Ells hasn't been able to stay healthy and the production he gives when healthy obviously is a large unknown at this point. Kalish's ability to even play at the MLB level is an unknown.

So lets say the FO gets a good price to acquire Morneau to platoon with Sands/Lavarnway at 1B and Choo to start in RF. That team would be a legitimate competitor in 2013. So if we're fielding a legitimate competitor in 2013 do you REALLY want the production of our OF to hinge on the ability of effectively two rookies (Kalish and Linares) to be effective MLB players from day one? Or would we all feel better if that 4th OF righty was someone like Ross who is proven commodity?

Whenever the team chooses to go with young unknowns over proven veterans there is an opportunity cost risked in the attempt to save money. My point is if the team assesses Ross' value to the Sox as either 2/$12M or 3/$15M is it really the worst thing if instead they offer him 2/$14M or 3/$18M? I mean, I'm not a big Ross fan at the suggested 3/$24M, but there is definitely some quantifiable added value with Ross beyond his batting line. Consistency and quality park fit/rotational role fit are things of tangible value.

#65 ThePieholeOfDavidWells

  • 62 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:23 PM

So lets say the FO gets a good price to acquire Morneau to platoon with Sands/Lavarnway at 1B and Choo to start in RF. That team would be a legitimate competitor in 2013. So if we're fielding a legitimate competitor in 2013 do you REALLY want the production of our OF to hinge on the ability of effectively two rookies (Kalish and Linares) to be effective MLB players from day one? Or would we all feel better if that 4th OF righty was someone like Ross who is proven commodity?


This scenario assumes too much about the consistency and quality of the pitching and the consistency and quality of the offensive parts that are supposed to replace Gonzalez, Ortiz, Ellsbury, etc. It also unreasonably wishcasts getting Morneau for a good price and then platooning him. Even assuming, however, that things will be as rosy as you say they can be on the offensive side, the pitching sucks and so however much Ross costs, he doesn't really make this team one iota more competitive than they have been.

The realistic scenario for next year is that Lester, Buchholz and Lackey, the anchors of the rotation, will be no better than they have been for the last year. Nor will they project to be any healthier. This means that even thinking about signing Ross for more than one year is beside the point. This is to say that if you think Ross is the solution, then you don't understand the problem.

#66 OCD SS


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,902 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:00 PM

You've said this twice now, and I can't make sense of it. Is this "value built into Fenway" equally operative for all hitters? If it's not--if Cody Ross somehow taps into more of that value than most hitters of otherwise comparable overall ability--then I can't see any practical difference between saying that the value is built into Fenway, and that the value is built into Cody Ross. And if it's built into Ross it's reasonable to pay him for it.


It's literally built into Fenway in the way the ball park has a 37' tall wall cutting across the OF that gives cheap HRs and Doubles to flyballs that would otherwise be outs. The park boosts raw offense for RHH, especially those who try to yank everything into the air to LF. I think you know that when Paul brings up the poorly constructed lineups of yesteryear filled with a bunch of bad caricatures of Jim Rice, this is what he's talking about. Ross is in that mold, but so are lots of other players (look how easy you found it to pull some out of 2004 and 2007 line-ups); the question isn't if it's reasonable to pay Ross for that, it's how much to pay him to do that.

My position is that while Ross has the offensive profile to take advantage of Fenway, so do other RHH OFers. What separates Ross from them, other than he got the raw boost in his stats by playing at Fenway this year? It is not reasonable to pay every potential RHH out there a premium because they will benefit from Fenway, that is a reason as to why the team should be able to turn a low cost option into a good return.

This is an idea that is currently in vogue on this board but is not as easy as people like to think. There are only a few one-year wonders who are cheaply available in any given offseason. Identifying such players consistently is a pipe dream. Getting these players is not simply a product of good scouting, analysis, etc. but of luck. For every Cody Ross you find, you also get a Mike Cameron, a Brad Penny, and a John Smoltz. It's not always a bad idea to take risks on players you think can outperform their market value and are available on low cost deals, but you certainly can't build a championship caliber team by relying on hitting the lottery with borderline players that no other team values every off season.


This is certainly true; however applying this to Ross means that we also have to put him back into the same pool and that we cannot necessarily expect him to preform to the same level he did this year. He is going into his age 32 season, and I don't see the best hitting of his career other than a 66 game sample in 2006 as indicative of some late renaissance on his part.

That's why I pulled Linares' name from my hind-quarters; it's not that I expect him to be just as good as Ross, but he does server to illustrate that the Sox have a near MLB ready replacement who stands a good chance (as a player going into his hitting prime) of replacing a large part of Ross's 2012 production for a fraction of the cost. I don't think it is a stretch to think that there are more players around than just Ross who can fill this niche, and having more players available means that the supply has increased vs the single spot open in the Red Sox line up.

Sure, but the entire idea of acquiring Choo hinges on that acquisition cost being (very) reasonable. Otherwise I'd rather see them go with someone like Torii Hunter on a one year deal to play RF while Ross and Kalish platoon in LF.


That's great, but no one else arguing for Ross is making that distinction. If Choo's cost is not reasonable are you advocating letting Ross walk, or have the Sox already extended him for Willingham money at this point? It seems to me that if the plan is really Choo, dealing with Ross is putting the cart before the horse.

If anything gives me any hope, it's that we're hearing that the Sox may be negotiating an extension, and this team has a pretty good track record of getting value for its extensions. If Ross is extended (or re-signed for that matter) I expect that it will be as a slight overpay for a platoon OFer, not something grossly out of the market like Willingham money.

#67 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,945 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:51 PM

the question isn't if it's reasonable to pay Ross for that, it's how much to pay him to do that.


Well, sure. Now we're on the same page.

My position is that while Ross has the offensive profile to take advantage of Fenway, so do other RHH OFers. What separates Ross from them, other than he got the raw boost in his stats by playing at Fenway this year? It is not reasonable to pay every potential RHH out there a premium because they will benefit from Fenway, that is a reason as to why the team should be able to turn a low cost option into a good return.


You're talking as if Ross hits well at Fenway simply because he's a RHH. But not every RHH benefits from Fenway to the same extent. Ross benefits powerfully from Fenway because he is a dead pull flyball hitter who hits the ball high in the air; a mortar, not a cannon. Not all RHH are like that. Manny Ramirez, for instance, had minor to essentially non-existent home/road splits in his first few years here; he became more of a Fenway hitter later on, as he began to lose a bit of his opposite-field power; he essentially used the park as a hedge against decline, because he was gifted enough to do that. Nomar also had small-to-reverse home/road splits in his best years here.

Even RHH who have positive Fenway splits often have relatively small ones. John Valentin is a good example: career .846/.781. Valentin in his prime was certainly a better hitter, overall, than Cody Ross. But Ross this year has been a better Fenway hitter than Valentin was even in his 1995 season, one of the best ever by a Red Sox shortstop. It's really not a fungible, automatic RHH thing. It's a specific hitter/park effect.

#68 ThePieholeOfDavidWells

  • 62 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:43 PM

Even RHH who have positive Fenway splits often have relatively small ones. John Valentin is a good example: career .846/.781. Valentin in his prime was certainly a better hitter, overall, than Cody Ross. But Ross this year has been a better Fenway hitter than Valentin was even in his 1995 season, one of the best ever by a Red Sox shortstop. It's really not a fungible, automatic RHH thing. It's a specific hitter/park effect.


Ross's career split is .833 H and .740 away. The Fenway split, yes, is more dramatic, but it's not hard to see how a 1-year spike could be related league differences, etc. It's awfully optimistic to assume that this one hitter has some special skill exactly suited to a particular ballpark. Right now you're taking 420 PA and arguing that they're demonstrative of some heretofore undiscovered skill rather than Ross getting pretty lucky and catching lighting in a bottle.

#69 Cellar-Door


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,303 posts

Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:39 PM

Ross's career split is .833 H and .740 away. The Fenway split, yes, is more dramatic, but it's not hard to see how a 1-year spike could be related league differences, etc. It's awfully optimistic to assume that this one hitter has some special skill exactly suited to a particular ballpark. Right now you're taking 420 PA and arguing that they're demonstrative of some heretofore undiscovered skill rather than Ross getting pretty lucky and catching lighting in a bottle.

before this year it was .807H and .752 A, so over 40% of that split is from this year (.038 of the .093)
I agree it could just be some luck considering the small sample size, but it is crazy that he went from a .055 career Home/road split to .327. Though some of that is a drop of .080 of his road OPS compared to career numbers, to go with the .181 jump in Home OPS

Edited by Cellar-Door, 04 September 2012 - 11:40 PM.


#70 Carl Everetts Therapist


  • yossarian


  • PipPip
  • 1,558 posts

Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:58 AM

I know this board absolutely hates to put value on "intangibles" but what value does the fact that Ross ideally fits the Boston Market have? and the fact that he has already proven he can play here?

He has the personality that makes him popular among fans, the media and teammates. He seems to do well with pressure situations. He has been one of the most likeable players on an unlikeable team and excelled amidst possibly the worst atmosphere (for a home player) in a decade (thinking about the Kerrigan/Williams meltdown).

Not saying that this alone makes him a good sign, but at what point do we say that all FA's are not equal in that some simply can't play in this environment. Is it really that easy to go out and find players that not only have the skill set to succeed in Fenway, but also have the make-up? Not to mention in a position that needs to be filled anyway.

I also happen to think that Ross would cost more like 3/15mil or 2/12mil than the price quoted up thread. How much is a guy who has these splits, hit 20 dingers etc. worth to other teams on the open market.

#71 smastroyin


  • simpering whimperer


  • 17,189 posts

Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:06 AM

It is clear that certain people do have a material advantage in Fenway, and for the Red Sox that is worth paying for. In fact for all the hemming and hawing, it is probably what they should be paying for. If you have a park that some guys are more suited to than others, then why not find those guys? If you win 2/3 of your games at home you can go .500 on the road and have 95 wins. There's nothing inherently wrong with being good at home.

#72 Drek717

  • 2,152 posts

Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:54 AM

That's great, but no one else arguing for Ross is making that distinction. If Choo's cost is not reasonable are you advocating letting Ross walk, or have the Sox already extended him for Willingham money at this point? It seems to me that if the plan is really Choo, dealing with Ross is putting the cart before the horse.

My desire to retain Ross is independent of getting Choo. As long as we're penciling Ellsbury and Kalish into the 2013 OF a 4th OF like Ross (righty with some good pop, capable defense) is worth a small overpay for short years. Getting someone like Choo only increases the value, but they need to sign Ross for what they see as close to his real value regardless of who the third starting OF might be.

But then, I've also never been a big believer in Kalish so I'm probably more in favor of a safety net in the form of Ross than most people.

#73 maufman


  • SoSH Member


  • 13,189 posts

Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:29 AM

But then, I've also never been a big believer in Kalish so I'm probably more in favor of a safety net in the form of Ross than most people.


What's to believe in? He's hitting 261/336/414 at Pawtucket in his age 24 season and has a 638 career OPS in about half a season's worth of major-league action. I've been bullish on Kalish for years, and the jury is still out on him, but based on his injury history and recent production, the FO can't count on him to hold down a corner OF job next year, even in a platoon role. Therefore, the Sox need to have a RHH OF who can handle RF defensively and won't be a black hole offensively if he's pressed into full-time service. It's self-evident that Cody Ross would fill that role capably; it isn't clear that he'll accept a salary commensurate with such a limited role.

#74 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,945 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:26 AM

Reviving this topic now that Ross is an FA and we'll be bidding against everybody else. In this Bradford interview Ross sounds a little, how you say, miffed that the Sox weren't more eager to get a deal done:

"They had a ton of opportunities. We talked about this back in July and we couldn't work anything out up until the deadline. Now it only makes sense to listen to other teams.


http://www.weei.com/...n-opportunities

#75 drbretto


  • guidence counselor


  • 4,366 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

I don't know about miffed. He's just stating facts. It is what it is. They had opportunities, they didn't make it happen and it's in his best interest now that he's an FA to listen to any offers that are on the table. I would say though that any chance the Sox had to keep him for reasonable money is out the window because someone will overpay.

#76 David Laurila


  • Barbara Walters' Illegitimate Son


  • 1,713 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:08 AM

...reasonable money is out the window because someone will overpay.


Overpay is the issue, because while Ross is a solid player who has proven he can handle this market, he is limited. Along with being below average defensively, his OPS this year -- a nothing special .807 -- was the highest of his career over a full season. He accumulated 2.4 WAR. Basically, he's a decent option for the right price and for a shorter term.

#77 Yaz4Ever


  • Please hire me!


  • 8,721 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

Overpay is the issue, because while Ross is a solid player who has proven he can handle this market, he is limited. Along with being below average defensively, his OPS this year -- a nothing special .807 -- was the highest of his career over a full season. He accumulated 2.4 WAR. Basically, he's a decent option for the right price and for a shorter term.


This is exactly it. Ross is the kind of guy I'd love to see stay with us because he did well (not spectacular) and seemed to embrace this market. That said, at a team-friendly price, he'd be a good option for two years. If there are other bidders, he'll likely exceed the team-friendly price. Good for him, I wish him luck.

#78 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

I'm willing to over pay on a short contract. My interest falls off dramatically after we get past two years.

I rather suspect he's going to be able to find someone to give him more than two years.

#79 Cuzittt


  • Bouncing with Anger


  • 17,393 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

I'm willing to over pay on a short contract. My interest falls off dramatically after we get past two years.

I rather suspect he's going to be able to find someone to give him more than two years.


I guess I'm not sure why I would suspect that. The only real difference between this year and last year (when he was also a FA) is the Power Boost, which can be attributed to playing environment. He got a $3mil free agent contract last year... how much is he really worth a year older?

#80 Toe Nash

  • 3,208 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

Overpay is the issue, because while Ross is a solid player who has proven he can handle this market, he is limited. Along with being below average defensively, his OPS this year -- a nothing special .807 -- was the highest of his career over a full season. He accumulated 2.4 WAR. Basically, he's a decent option for the right price and for a shorter term.


I'm not in favor of overpaying for Ross, but he came really close to this mark in both 2008 (.804) and 2009 (.790) so it's not like he had some crazy career year. In 2011 he played in the NL west which has numerous pitchers' parks, so his OPS+ of 107 was pretty close to his 113 mark this year. In his worst year stats-wise, 2010, he was a monster through the Giants' postseason run, with a 1.076 OPS.

He's also a perfect hitter for Fenway so it's reasonable for both these reasons to expect him to put up a similar OPS going forward, assuming some age-related decline. Whether that's worth what he'll get is the question.

#81 Rudy Pemberton


  • Just a string of characters


  • 28,689 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:30 PM

Cody Ross is a thoroughly average player. He's the kind of guy who is great on a 1 year, 3m deal but awful on a 3 year, 20m+ deal. There are a lot of players who are available now for what Ross was paid last year, who will outhit him next year. A smart organization needs to identify and acquire such players, and not overpay guys like Ross. Really hope they move on here.

#82 sfip


  • directly related to Marilyn Monroe


  • 7,516 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

In 2011 he played in the NL west which has numerous pitchers' parks, so his OPS+ of 107 was pretty close to his 113 mark this year.

I'm no sabermetric whiz by any means, but even I know OPS+ is park-adjusted.

#83 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

I guess I'm not sure why I would suspect that. The only real difference between this year and last year (when he was also a FA) is the Power Boost, which can be attributed to playing environment. He got a $3mil free agent contract last year... how much is he really worth a year older?


I'd like to be wrong and end up sign him to a reasonable contract, but it seems like most people who sign one year deals are guys who need to make good.

#84 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,945 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

There are a lot of players who are available now for what Ross was paid last year, who will outhit him next year.


Here is the entire list of 2013 OF FA, according to MLBTR:

Bobby Abreu
Rick Ankiel
Jeff Baker
Brian Bixler
Michael Bourn
Travis Buck
Melky Cabrera
Johnny Damon
Mark DeRosa
Matt Diaz
Kosuke Fukudome
Jonny Gomes
Scott Hairston
Josh Hamilton
Torii Hunter
Raul Ibanez
Reed Johnson
Andruw Jones
Austin Kearns
Don Kelly
Ryan Ludwick
Mitch Maier
Darnell McDonald
Nate McLouth
Angel Pagan
Juan Pierre
Juan Rivera
Cody Ross
Grady Sizemore
Drew Sutton
Ichiro Suzuki
Nick Swisher
B.J. Upton
Shane Victorino
Dewayne Wise
Delmon Young

Which of those guys is a better than even bet to match Cody Ross' likely offensive production in a Red Sox uniform in 2013, and likely to be available for $3M or less? You said there were "lots." Can you name one?

If we forget the $3M and say, "likely to be available for less than Cody Ross will cost," can you name one?

#85 Rudy Pemberton


  • Just a string of characters


  • 28,689 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:55 PM

Well, I'm not part of one of the smartest organizations in sports, so it's not really my job to know; but teams like the A's and Rays seem able to find these kinds of guys, why can't the Sox? It doesnt have to be just major league free agents, they could make a trade, trade for a blocked minor leaguer, etc. Fact is there will be plenty of guys who perform like Ross next year, shouldn't a really advanced sabermetrically inclined organization find at least one? Giving Ross 3 years, $27M seems like buying high to me, something SOSH would insult the pirates or orioles of old for doing, and I hope the Sox don't do it. I like Ross, he's a nice player who can hit lefties but he's not the kind of plate this team should be committing significant resources to.

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 04 November 2012 - 03:57 PM.


#86 MHead81

  • 529 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

Giving Ross 3 years, $27M seems like buying high to me

Is this the rumored contract that he is seeking, or is this just a guess on your part? I agree that 3/$27M is more than he should get here. I have been expecting him to sign somewhere for 3/$21M at the most.

What is a contract that Ross could reasonably be expected to get? What would be the most that people would be ok with him signing for here?

Edited by MHead81, 04 November 2012 - 04:07 PM.


#87 Snodgrass'Muff


  • smarter as Lucen


  • 21,357 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

I think Ross is a perfect fit for a team that isn't likely to contend in the immediate short term and is looking to bridge to some minor league talent... or, at least, is looking to see if some minor league talent will pan out and fill in a corner outfield spot or two in 2014 or 2015. If people like Swisher because he's consistent but think he'll be too expensive, then Ross seems like a good Swisher-lite option.

The last five years...

wOBA: .344, .342, .322, .321, .345
wRC+: 106, 105, 96, 105, 113

His 1.5 years in the NL West suppressed his numbers a bit but he's been pretty consistent as a bit above average at the plate and a bit below in the field. He's a safe bet who you don't mind pushing to the bench or trading if a prospect forces his way onto the roster in the next three years. Sure, Rudy's point that there will be plenty of guys who hit as well as him next year is fair, but Ross is a known commodity in Fenway and likes being here. As a bridge to Bradley or Brentz in 2014 or one of the guys a little further away (De La Cruz, Jacobs) or even Bogaerts if they decide to bump him to a corner outfield position, he makes plenty of sense. Hell, bringing him back with the intention of going after a 2014 free agent like Choo, Hart, or Granderson isn't an awful idea, either.

Overpaying on shorter deals isn't a big deal for a team with resources like this, especially after dumping an enormous amount of payroll a few months back. Finding a few stabilizing forces for the lineup while they transition to a younger roster is a good way to field a somewhat competitive team that maybe you get lucky enough to sneak into the playoffs with in 2013 while building for 2014 and beyond.

3/24 to 3/27 would be fine with me if there's enough of a market out there to drive it that high.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 04 November 2012 - 04:05 PM.


#88 Kramerica Industries

  • 778 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

Dont forget that Cody Ross was worth more than 1 season at 3 million on the market last year:


Cody Ross told me yesterday that he rejected multi-year offer from #Braves to sign one-year deal with #RedSox. Like
opportunity in Boston.



https://twitter.com/...764435906277377

If he got the multi-year offers last year after his 2011, he's going to get them now after the season he just had. I like Cody Ross but I wouldn't go past the Mike Cameron 2/14 type of contract with an option.

edit:format

Edited by Kramerica Industries, 04 November 2012 - 04:07 PM.


#89 YTF

  • 3,838 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:38 PM

Haven't seen mention of this anywhere, but I'm curious as to what the Sox may have offered if anything at all in terms of dollars and years. If they have any interest in Ross at all seems pretty stupid to have let him get to free angency when he's been pretty public about wanting to stay with the Sox. Is there anything on (or off) the record of what he may have been looking for pre-free agency and what he might be looking for now?

#90 SoxScout


  • Maalox Territory


  • 30,164 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

Is this the rumored contract that he is seeking, or is this just a guess on your part? I agree that 3/$27M is more than he should get here. I have been expecting him to sign somewhere for 3/$21M at the most. What is a contract that Ross could reasonably be expected to get? What would be the most that people would be ok with him signing for here?


He's close with Willingham, 3/$21 is what Will got and what has been thrown for months as what Ross wants: http://fullcount.wee...illingham-deal/

No desire at all to meet those demands. If his market doesn't develop and comes back down, fine, if not, someone else can have him. It's still beyond ridiculous he wasn't traded at the deadline. One of the most brutal decisions of the season.

Paying big money for a .260/.325 guy, coming off a dramatic IsoP spike year and who strikes out in 1/4 of his PA just seems like an awful, awful idea.

Edited by SoxScout, 04 November 2012 - 04:58 PM.


#91 Jordu

  • 2,029 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

If he got the multi-year offers last year after his 2011, he's going to get them now after the season he just had. I like Cody Ross but I wouldn't go past the Mike Cameron 2/14 type of contract with an option.


Exactly. For me, this is all about the length of the contract.

This team is in transition. Why give any over-30, non-All-Star-caliber position player anything more than 2 years, or 2 years with an option?

That approach (and pitching, pitching, pitching) worked out pretty well for the Giants.

#92 Rudy Pemberton


  • Just a string of characters


  • 28,689 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

I believe it was Abraham who mentioned Ross was looking for 3 years, $27M. I'm sure he won't get that, but it explains why the Sox haven't resigned him. I think he makes sense at 2 years, 13-14M. Anything more or longer than that strikes me as too much. I don't put much stock into the idea that he loves Boston and wants to be here, seems clear that after a decent year he wants to get paid.

#93 Red(s)HawksFan


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,202 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

Here is the entire list of 2013 OF FA, according to MLBTR:

Which of those guys is a better than even bet to match Cody Ross' likely offensive production in a Red Sox uniform in 2013, and likely to be available for $3M or less? You said there were "lots." Can you name one?

If we forget the $3M and say, "likely to be available for less than Cody Ross will cost," can you name one?


I'll go out on a limb and offer Jonny Gomes as a possibility. Defensively, he's pretty much a disaster, but he could probably be hidden fairly well at Fenway. As a RHH platoon corner OF, he'd come cheap and perhaps get the same kind of Fenway boost that Ross did. He made $1M playing 99 games in Oakland (.376 wOBA, 142 wRC+). Probably wouldn't cost more than a couple million for a single season.

#94 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,592 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:16 PM

Matt Pouliot of Rotoworld kind of nails it with Ross, at least from my line of thinking:

28. Cody Ross (OF Red Sox - Age 32 - Prev. #32): Ross settled for $3 million last winter, but he found himself in the perfect situation with the Red Sox and now he seems likely to land a nice three-year deal as a result. Still, Ross remains a glorified platoon player, with most of his production coming against lefties: he's a career .253/.312/.415 hitter against righties. Last year, 12 of his 22 homers came in his 132 at-bats versus southpaws. He also hit .298/.356/.565 in Fenway, compared to .232/.294/.390 on the road. It'd be a bad idea to give him the $18 million-$21 million he may command.


Those splits are a little... unsettling.

#95 OttoC


  • SoSH Member


  • 7,388 posts

Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:35 PM

He also hit much better in his first 65 games of the season than in his final 65:

1st : 274/349/565/914
2nd: 260/305/402/707 with 16 of his 22 HR coming in the first half.

#96 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,415 posts

Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:03 AM

Luckily for us and him, we have a need for someone to hit lefties in Fenway Park.

#97 kazuneko

  • 1,721 posts

Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:17 AM

I'll go out on a limb and offer Jonny Gomes as a possibility. Defensively, he's pretty much a disaster, but he could probably be hidden fairly well at Fenway. As a RHH platoon corner OF, he'd come cheap and perhaps get the same kind of Fenway boost that Ross did. He made $1M playing 99 games in Oakland (.376 wOBA, 142 wRC+). Probably wouldn't cost more than a couple million for a single season.

I spent some time the the other day looking at the free agent OF list and came to this exact conclusion: Gomes is a going to be a smart signing for some team.
He has had a somewhat inconsistent career with one constant: He absolutely rakes against LHP. For his career he has an .894 OPS against them and last year he was even better, putting up a .414/.561/.974 slash line.
In Nava - a player that has shown very little vs. LHP but put a .383 /.414/797 slash line against RHP last year - the Sox already have his platoon partner.
You could argue that a Nava/Gomes platoon has a chance to be better than Ross - for what will inarguably be a small fraction of the price.

Edited by kazuneko, 05 November 2012 - 10:26 AM.


#98 Savin Hillbilly


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,945 posts

Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

Gomes' bat is intriguing, but the glove is truly horrible, if the numbers can be trusted. This is not a glove for fielding; this is a glove for laying down and avoiding. I'd rather not go there if we can help it.

And Gomes also has a very substantial platoon split, so we'd have some of the same issues with him on offense that we do with Ross. He'll be cheaper than Ross, yes, and for good reason. It doesn't seem like the Sox are in a position where they need to settle for the lesser player to save 3 or 4 million.

#99 Red(s)HawksFan


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,202 posts

Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:10 AM

Gomes' bat is intriguing, but the glove is truly horrible, if the numbers can be trusted. This is not a glove for fielding; this is a glove for laying down and avoiding. I'd rather not go there if we can help it.

And Gomes also has a very substantial platoon split, so we'd have some of the same issues with him on offense that we do with Ross. He'll be cheaper than Ross, yes, and for good reason. It doesn't seem like the Sox are in a position where they need to settle for the lesser player to save 3 or 4 million.


You asked..."Which of those guys is a better than even bet to match Cody Ross' likely offensive production in a Red Sox uniform in 2013, and likely to be available for $3M or less? You said there were "lots." Can you name one?"

Gomes is a perfect answer to your question. Last season, Gomes put up a 2.1 fWAR compared to Ross's 2.4 fWAR, and did it in 31 fewer games played (they had identical rWAR at 1.6). Gomes had a .376 wOBA with 142 wRC+, while Ross was at .345 wOBA with 113 wRC+.

I'm not necessarily advocating that Gomes be a primary target, but as a relatively inexpensive RHH half of a platoon (with Nava or someone else), they could do worse from a value per dollar spent perspective.

#100 Toe Nash

  • 3,208 posts

Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

I'm no sabermetric whiz by any means, but even I know OPS+ is park-adjusted.


Yes. My statement wasn't wrong. His raw OPS was only .730 in 2011, but park adjustment of OPS+ makes it look a lot closer to this year's performance even though his raw OPS in 2012 was 80 points higher. Nearly as good of a year when park effects are considered.

Edited by Toe Nash, 05 November 2012 - 09:16 AM.