Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported last Sunday that the Red Sox were “very interested” in re-signing impending free agent outfielder Cody Ross.
And now it seems that progress has been made.
According to beat writer Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Red Sox have informed Ross directly that they want him back and a contract extension could be finalized before the end of the season.
Ross, 31, signed a bargain one-year, $3 million deal this past winter. He’s currently batting .276/.339/.520 with 19 home runs, 26 doubles and 63 RBI through 388 plate appearances.
Cafardo suggested last week that Ross could seek a contract in the area of three years and $21 million.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.