Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Cody Ross signed just a one-year deal with Boston, but it looks as if he'll be back for more soon.
Cody Ross signed a one-year deal, but those contracts aren't actually up until after the World Series. There's no reason for him to rush to free agency, though, since he's in the midst of negotiations with the Red Sox to re-sign. According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, those talks are picking up speed, so it's possible there will be news of a Sox/Ross reunion before the free agency period even begins.
Ross wasn't perfect with the Red Sox, but the positives outweighed the negatives, and by a lot. In addition to the non-quantifiable clubhouse presence that employers both past and present have praised, Ross hit .267/.326/.481 with 22 homers in 130 games. A significant part of that production came at home (.298/.356/.565), but his performance on the road was below-average, not horrific -- players tend to be better at home, and Ross was seven percent below-average on the road. The reason there's a stark contrast between the two lines is because he was 40 percent better than average at home. Toss those together, though, and you've got a well above-average player, one with a solid glove.
It also helps that he's capable against right-handed pitching. Ross' .256/.308/.422 against right-handers isn't sexy, but it was good for a 107 split-adjusted OPS+ -- righties tend to be poorer against their fellow righty, and Ross is no exception. Relative to the field, though, he performed fine enough. The real offense came against southpaws, though, with Ross mashing them to the tune of .295/.373/.636.
Ross isn't a game-changer by himself, but he's a quality (and likely relatively inexpensive) piece to be added to the outfield, an area where Boston currently is dealing with a lot of uncertainty. Getting him back allows the Red Sox to move on to other areas of need, secure in the knowledge that right field is locked up for another couple of years. And, Ross likely won't be paid so much that Boston would have to avoid bringing in a superior outfielder, should the opportunity arise in the future.
He'll cost more than the $3 million with incentives he earned in 2012, but you're probably on the mark if you're assuming $7-8 million annually for his new deal. That would be easy to deal with even if the Red Sox didn't have the massive financial flexibility they currently possess.