Rockies “in contract talks” with outfielder Cody Ross

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Colorado seemingly had all the outfield depth it needs and then some after signing Michael Cuddyer, but apparently they’re not done pursuing right-handed hitting outfielders.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Rockies are “in contract talks” with Cody Ross, whose market has proven lacking compared to his desire for a three-year contract.

Ross seems like a very odd fit for the Rockies, because they aready have Cuddyer, Dexter Fowler, and Carlos Gonzalez set as the starting outfield and have been shopping Seth Smith all offseason.

If they’re close to moving Smith then Ross could take his place on the roster, but that doesn’t change the fact that there won’t be much playing time to go around.

Ross hit .240 with 14 homers and a .730 OPS in 121 games for the Giants this past season, posting his worst production since 2006.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.