Looking back at the offseason, Boston wanted someone who could play right field. Instead of going after a big-name free agent or partaking in a blockbuster trade, the Red Sox decided to make two moves.
They traded 2011 right fielder Josh Reddick to the Oakland Athletics with two prospects in exchange for closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. Boston also decided to bring in Cody Ross on a one-year deal to platoon with Sweeney in right.
As the season progressed and more outfielders started to go down with injuries, Ross stepped up in a big way. He’s played all three outfield positions over the course of the season—primarily right—and has played each with confidence and a sense of excitement.
Ross has made a big impact in the field, but has played an essential role in the Boston lineup. He’s hit in every spot in the lineup except leadoff and last, but usually hits in the middle of the order. While several impact bats struggled or went down with injuries, Ross took advantage of hitting in the heart of the lineup.
Last night, Ross slugged his 16th home run of the season in exciting fashion. With two men on and the Red Sox down 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Ross crushed a ball into the monster seats for a three-run walk-off home run. This is just one of several examples of how Ross has put life into the Red Sox this season.
For only $3 million dollars, the Red Sox are clearly getting their bang for their buck. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe definitely agrees with that statement.
At $3 million Cody Ross biggest bargain in baseball.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 20, 2012
Cafardo definitely brings up a good point. Was there any other signing from the offseason that has worked out as well as Ross has? That’s up for debate.
The problem is that when Boston signed Ross during the offseason, they wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t have to keep him past this season if he didn’t perform up to their expectations. I’m going out on a limb by saying that Ross has exceeded those expectations already and by doing so, the Red Sox need to reward him.
Ross is 31 years old and will not be signing any type of monster deal, but a two-year deal wouldn’t be crazy. It could be argued that Ross is having the best season of his career and definitely could keep producing with the other All-Star caliber bats in the Red Sox lineup. The Red Sox haven’t had a healthy lineup all season long. Imagine what kind of numbers Ross would have if they did.
The chances of finding another Cody Ross after this season are slim. That being said, the Red Sox should make it a priority to sign Ross to a two-year, $7.5 million deal to ensure that his bat flip stays in Boston for the near future.
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