Morosi: Braves Pursuing Free Agent Outfielder Cody Ross

Elsa

The Braves could use outfield help, just like Boston, and are looking at a former Red Sox for it

Negotiations between Cody Ross and the Red Sox seem to have cooled, as Boston didn't want to pay the price that Ross felt he was worth. Because of this, other teams have been stepping in to attempt to lure him away, the latest of these being the Atlanta Braves. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports they're looking at him to be their starting left fielder, which will allow them to shift Martin Prado back to the infield in order to replace the retired Chipper Jones at third.

Ross would be a huge boost to the Braves lineup when facing lefties, as the club posted a 92 split-adjusted OPS+ against left-handers in 2012 thanks to their .244/.315/.374 line. Jones batted .298/.376/.444 against southpaws, and Michael Bourn performed well against them, too, but both of them are likely gone in 2013, not just Chipper. Ross, who hit .295/.373/.636 against lefties in 2012, and has been exceptional against them in his career, makes a ton of sense given that.

Of course, there are the downsides, ones the Red Sox and their fans are well-aware of. Ross is typically much worse against right-handers, and outside of Fenway Park in 2012, he hit just .232/.294/.390. Outside of Fenway, and against right-handed pitching, Ross put up an excruciating .220/.256/.341 line in 164 plate appearances. That's not a huge sample, but given how well he hit at the park where his swing makes a ton of sense, and the huge split in his performance depending on pitcher handedness, it's easy to see that happening again.

And if it's in Atlanta, a park that reduces homers for right-handed hitters, he won't even get the same boost from his home park that he enjoyed this past season. Considering he had a 103 OPS+ from 2008 through 2011, in parks that weren't Fenway, this is a legitimate concern.

For the right price, though, and maybe with a backup option to take some of those at-bats against right-handers, this could work. It's unlikely that'll happen, though, since Ross is looking for starting outfielder money.

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