“When I first talked to Cody about coming here, the goal obviously was to do well as a team, but part of the goal was to put him in a better position,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said yesterday. “I felt it could put him in a better position by coming here and performing in this ballpark. The good news is that it did. That’s to his credit. He’s in a good position now. It makes it tougher to sign him.”
The Red Sox could have made Ross a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer to assure draft-pick compensation if he leaves. But there also was a chance he would accept, and while the Sox are interested in re-signing him, they don’t believe he’s worth $13.3 million.
“We’ll keep the door open, and we’ll continue to talk,” Cherington said. “But once we’re in free agency, he’s got opportunities to talk to other teams, and we fully expect him to do that.”
Herald | Cody Ross may cash in elsewhere
Meanwhile, Ross is looking for three years, $25 million, not quite the Josh Willingham contract people pegged him for, but not far off either.
Will Boston go that far? I'm tempted to say no, but it's worth remembering that they have very little on the books. The answer might come in tandem with the team's plans for Jacoby Ellsbury. If the Sox are planning trading Ellsbury, or merely letting him walk after this year, they might be more willing to devote some extra resources to locking in a guy who likes Boston, even on a deal that's probably not going to pay off.
If they're re-signing Ells? Then it gets harder to justify $8 million a year on a guy who may or may not be a glorified fourth outfielder.
Of course, both of these ideas could be wrong. They could bring back both, or they could exile both. In a lot of ways, it depends on the organization's philosophy. Do they continue to be the baseball version of the Patriots, digging their heels in on a certain value and telling the player to find a better deal elsewhere (as they did with Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and even David Ortiz for a number of years)? Or, is Ortiz's latest contract a sign that they're willing to overpay a bit just to make sure they bring in (or keep) the right type of player?
If I had to guess, I say Ross is gone. I think the Papi deal will prove to be the exception, not the rule, and they'll be happy for Ross' one-year rental and his subsequent deal elsewhere, as they were with Adrian Beltre.
Herald | Papi's powerful enough to link past greatness to future success | Cherington goes all-in on Ortiz two-year deal | David Ortiz defends vs. Bobby Valentine | Globe | Sox and Ortiz are together | CSNNE | Cherington on Ross: 'Door will remain open' | Red Sox still trying to piece together coaching staff | Cherington eyes upcoming general manager meetings | Red Sox, Ortiz happy to move forward with two-year deal | ESPNBoston | David Ortiz: I didn't shut it down | David Ortiz could earn up to $30 million | Sources: Ross still waiting for three-year offer | Source: Boston set on pitching coach | Red Sox to add medical director