Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
Boston's 2012 outfielder could very well be Baltimore's in 2013
The Red Sox didn't sign Cody Ross before the deadline for exclusive negotiations ended, making him available to the 29 other clubs. The Baltimore Orioles are one of those teams, and they are interested, per FOX Sports' Jon Morosi.
Morosi also says the Orioles want Josh Hamilton, who the Texas Rangers won't begin to negotiate with until they start to see what other people are offering. Hamilton, at present, is looking for a seven-year deal for $175 million. That's $25 million per year for a player with a lot of baggage, but also a ton of talent. At that price, though, the O's might be out of the bidding, making someone like Ross their Plan B, but also the more realistic of the two.
Ross succeeded in 2012 in large part due to Fenway Park, where 39 of his 56 extra-base hits happened, and he slugged .565 there as a result. On the road, the right-handed hitter put up a below-average 693 OPS, and when facing right-handers, he wasn't significantly better. While a change in venue could be terrible for many teams signing Ross, the Orioles have themselves a great hitter's park, too.
Camden Yards isn't the doubles park Fenway is, especially not for right-handed hitters, but it's a far better environment for home runs than Fenway. Overall, it's a hitter's park, and while Ross' line might look different, or maybe not quite as good as it did with Boston, it would be close enough to make it a solid move for Baltimore. Well, assuming the price makes sense. If they give in to his three-year, $25 million demands, that's a bit silly of them.
The O's are the first team reported to have an interest in Ross, but according to Ross' camp, there were multiple teams who have contacted him since free agency officially began. If there are enough, maybe he will get that deal he's looking for. And in that case, the Red Sox are very likely out of the running. Not that this would be a bad thing, given the other options out there.