Cody Ross has little chance of securing the three-year contract he’s reportedly seeking, but Reds general manager Walt Jocketty admitted today that he plans to speak to the outfielder’s agent about a possible deal.
Jocketty called Ross “an interesting name” and indicated to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that it would have to be a short-term deal, presumably meaning one year or one year plus an option for 2013.
Ross predictably resumed being a mediocre hitter after his out of nowhere playoff breakout in 2010, but he’s a right-handed bat with 20-homer power and enough range to play center field in a pinch.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.