UPDATE: Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that Ross got a three-year, $26 million contract. The deal includes a club option for 2016 which carries a $1 million buyout. Not a bad deal for someone who made $3 million in 2012.
12:01 PM: According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Cody Ross has reached agreement with the Diamondbacks on a three-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved.
This is a pretty surprising destination for Ross, as he hasn’t been linked to the Diamondbacks at all this winter. The latest we heard was a meeting with the Rangers earlier this week.
The Diamondbacks already have Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra and Adam Eaton in-house, so the addition of Ross is a bit superfluous on the surface. However, general manager Kevin Towers now figures to step up his efforts to trade an outfielder, likely Kubel. And I suppose it’s possible Upton could be dealt if they are blown away by an offer.
Ross, who turns 32 tomorrow, batted .267/.326/.481 with 22 home runs, 81 RBI and an .807 OPS in 130 games this past season with the Red Sox. He enjoyed most of his success at Fenway Park, but he should have a decent chance at a comparable follow-up playing half of his games at the hitter-friendly Chase Field.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.