League source: Cody Ross has reached agreement with Diamondbacks on a three-year deal.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 22, 2012
The one-time San Francisco Giants playoff hero who played last year with the Boston Red Sox gives the Diamondbacks yet another power-hitting threat in their arsenal. But most significantly it allows Arizona the flexibility to make another trade.
Ross made his debut with the 2003 Detroit Tigers. After short stops with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds, he became a productive hitter with the Florida Marlins, notching back to back seasons with more than 20 homers.
In 2010, Ross stunned the Philadelphia Phillies by hitting a pair of home runs off Roy Halladay in Game 1 of the 2010 NLCS. He was named the NLCS MVP when he hit three homers, batted .350 and posted a 1.385 OPS as the Giants stormed into the World Series. He homered in the World Series victory against the Texas Rangers in 2010 as well.
After another 22-home-run season with the Red Sox in 2012, he joins a crowded Arizona outfield that currently features Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra, A. J. Pollock and Adam Eaton.
ESPN's Buster Olney speculates that the Texas Rangers would be interested in Upton or Kubel to help replace the offense lost by the defection of Josh Hamilton. Arizona's need for a shortstop has been satisfied by acquiring Didi Gregorius from the Cincinnati Reds, so Elvis Andrus might not be as alluring a trade chip anymore.
But the team can always use additional bullpen arms or a chance to replenish a farm system that used some top trade chips to strengthen the 2013 squad.
So general manager Kevin Towers has made a move that helps in the short term and the long term.
The Diamondbacks are going into 2013 with very few holes, making Arizona a very dangerous team. And Cody Ross knows something about playing for a National League West team that exceeds expectations.