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Former Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross has signed a 3-year, $26 million dollar deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. There were thoughts that even though the Red Sox signed Shane Victorino, that Ross could still possibly be part of the team. When John Farrell was hired as the new Red Sox manager, it was widely believed that his main priority was to bring back Cody Ross. General Manager Ben Cherington made a big mistake by not re-signing Ross.
The biggest reason the signing of Shane Victorino irritates me is simply because Ross was cheaper. If the Red Sox signed Ross to the same deal as the D-Backs did, Boston would be paying him less than $9 million per season. The Sox signed Shane Victorino to a 3-year, $39 million contract for a total of $13 million per season. The Sox would have saved money and would have gotten healthy production at Fenway to boot.
Bringing in The Flyin’ Hawaiian has raised some eyebrows. While he is a Gold Glove winner with great speed, his offensive production doesn’t grab anyone’s attention. Although he is a switch hitter, he has never been a power threat (career-best 18 HR in 2010) and his days of hitting .290 seem to be fading. If the Sox signed Victorino four years ago, I would have loved this deal. However, with Ellsbury and Pedroia hitting 1 & 2, there seems to be no use for Victorino’s speed in the offense unless the lineup is jumbled.
One of the biggest reasons why Mike Napoli is wanted by the Sox is because he dominates at Fenway with a .710 SLG in 19 career games. Ross is no slouch either with his career line of .292/.349/.549 in 69 games in Boston. Putting the two-back-to-back in the lineup at home would have brought quite the power surge to Fenway. Victorino doesn’t seem to fit as well into the regular lineup. Victorino would have to hit at the top of the order to utilize his speed thus forcing Dustin Pedroia to drop down to at least the 3rd spot.
Overall, the D-Backs are receiving a good, competitive player who contributes on and off the field. Cody Ross will be missed by Red Sox Nation, but will get to prove that Ben Cherington made a mistake.