Report: Yankees are “very interested” in Cody Ross


Via Nick Cafardo, the Yankees are one of three big market teams who are “very interested” in impending free agent outfielder Cody Ross. The Phillies and Red Sox are the other clubs.

Ross, 31, has had a career year in Boston this season (115 wRC+) and will almost certainly look to parlay that into a multi-year contract. I wrote about him in Friday’s mailbag, but here’s the short version: he’s a dead pull right-handed hitter, a below average hitter against righties, and isn’t all that good in the outfield. Add all that together and you get a glorified platoon bat who will wants multiple years and isn’t a great fit for Yankee Stadium.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. JobaWockeeZ says:

    It’s a smokescreen.

  2. jesse says:

    Would rather have Scott Hairston.

  3. jjyank says:

    Pass. If they Yankees got him to essentially take the Andruw Jones role (and contract), sure. But there’s no way he settles for that. Let someone else give him 2-3 years.

  4. Leg-End says:

    I’d rather have Ichiro.

  5. FIPster Doofus says:

    I’m gonna be “very interested” in throwing up if they sign him.

  6. yankeefan says:

    Resign Ichiro and sign Scott Hairston

  7. OldYanksFan says:

    Ross’s year is TOTALLY a product of Fenway.
    This year he has a .702 OPS away from the band box.
    He has a career .728 OPS against RHP.


  8. Ted Nelson says:

    I imagine that they’ll be linked to just about every OF available. And they probably should be. Should kick the tires on everyone, and should maximize their leverage with whoever the preferred option is.

  9. Laz says:

    Please stay away. He is good vs lefties, but really shouldn’t be batting vs righties. And him vs lefties isn’t nearly enough to pull everything up. Compare him to choo who has terrible splits, but at least is a lefty and there are more rhp, and him vs righties is enough to pull all his stats up to a decent average.

  10. Lou says:

    Another bandaid, quick fix, patch temp plug, just what the Yankees do. Go out and get a full time player or a permanent fix. Yankees roster is full of bandaids I’ll pass.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      You’re missing about as much complexity as you possibly could.

      I don’t think I need to go beyond this… the guys you are talking about were not brought in to be full-time players, so you are advocating getting full-time players for part-time roles… Gardner got hurt and Nunez got sent down. Think back to the beginning of the season when Gardner was the LF and Nunez was regularly spelling Jeter and A-Rod so that they could DH. Ibanez/Jones were meant to be the 4th and 5th OF / part-time DHs.

      There is a ton of reasoning you’re missing beyond that (I mean the Yankees haven’t signed the guy, it’s a freaking rumor that they’re interested), but it’s not even necessary because that negates your whole point.

      • Lou says:

        I don’t consider Gardner a full time player. So that negates your point as well.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          Why not?
          If you consider Michael Bourn a full-time player, I’m not sure how you can consider Gardner not to be a full-time player. They are almost exactly the same player.

          • Mister D says:

            Bourn doesn’t have nearly the same isoP splits that Gardner does. They might net to about the same player, but Gardner is far closer to a platoon.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

              Not really. Since Gardner became the Yankees primary LF (2010-2012)
              vs. LHP
              Bourn: 256/315/345 .089 ISO, 81 wRC+
              Gardner: 261/377/341 .080 ISO, 102 wRC+

              Bourn’s best performance against lefties has been this year’s 99 wRC+. Career vs. LHP: Gardner: .697 OPS, 93 wRC+, Bourn career vs. LHP: .641 OPS, 74 wRC+.

              I’d say if anything, Bourn has been more of a platoon candidate.

              • Mister D says:

                Looks great for your point if you use last 3 years. Looks a lot different if you use last 2 where Bourn has a > .100 isoP versus lefties.

                • Mister D says:

                  That wasn’t meant to be snarky, just to illustrate that players can change over time. 3 seasons ago, Granderson had a .354 SLG versus lefties.

                  • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                    2011-2012 vs. LHP:
                    Gardner: .709 OPS, 101 wRC+
                    Bourn: .689 OPS, 89 wRC+

                    Bourn’s shown more power in that period, but Gardner is still better overall vs. LHP in any period you choose. Gardner’s OBP vs. LHP more than offsets the lack of power compared to Bourn.

  11. Nice Scheister says:

    I’d go Torii Hunter, Melky Cabrera, Ichiro Suzuki and Gardner. Since Gardners been out almost all year he kind of the wild card in the OF discussion. I would like to see the option on Grandy picked up then traded. Only keep Grandy if you can’t sign a viable alternative, but my point still stands; they need more contact hitters and over 4Ks per jack ain’t gonna cut it.

    I’d go Dickerson full time before Ross full time.

    • Lou says:

      They need more every day players aka a full time roster of full time players playing positions. They keep throwing out and going out and getting temp players. Yankees have become accustom to replacement players filling holes. I’d like to see Bourn in pinstripes. But yes more contact players and full time players.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Bourn is probably going to be too expensive, in years and $, and they essentially already have Bourn with Gardner.

        I wouldn’t mind seeing Gardner CF, Hunter RF, Pagan LF, with Granderson as OF/DH. (Not that I expect it to happen)

      • Nice Scheister says:

        This. I like Bourne and several other FAs better than the ones I highlighted above but I feel the ones above could be had for 1 or 2 year deals. They don’t have crazy platoon splits and are everyday players. We have the same thought process.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Hunter, please.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Torii Hunter has a k% of 23… that’s not much of a contact hitter.

      Not that I have any idea why you are ignoring so much of hitting to focus only on contact.

      How good do you think Melky is clean?

      Who is talking about playing Ross full-time? We all know he’s a platoon player, but the Yankees haven’t taken a look at the way he’s used or his splits? He’s on their biggest rival, but they haven’t scouted him?

      • Nice Scheister says:

        Good point Ted, didn’t look must past the .300/.350 average/OBP (as oppsed to .230/.320 w/ Grandy) with Hunter something that IMO would help cure the RISP blues. I think Melky is still somewhere between 2012 and 2011 versions. I’m just tired of seeing part time players clog up the roster, this years heavy platoon roster at times has been hard to watch at time. Especially Ibanez vs LHP, brutal when Girardi doesn’t take him out. Ross seems ” clutch” and all but I’ll pass, and I hope the bombers do to.

        • Laz says:

          That wasn’t quite the plan. Gardner was in LF, Granderson in CF, and Swish in RF. Them getting hurt meant ibanez and jones got way more time than they should have. It probably hurt granderson too, because gardner is able to track down alot of the balls in left-center, thus keeping him from tiring.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      “over 4Ks per jack ain’t gonna cut it”

      Granderson – 4.69 K/HR
      Hunter – 8.27 K/HR
      Melky – 5.73 K/HR
      Ichiro – 6.67 K/HR

      • Nice Scheister says:

        When you’re hitting .230 and 5 of your 13 hits for the month are HRs and it’s seemingly HR or K, then the HR/K becomes more visible. Ichrio steals bases, hits for average, he could take a walk more often but he’s multi-dimensional. Melky is a .284 career hitter with a nice arm and decent range and he’s 27 and can probably be had for a 1/2 yr ‘redemption’ deal. Hunter prob won’t sniff .300 again but .270 is in the realm of possibility, great range and jumps on balls and has doubled Grandys WAR this year dispite half the dingers.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          Sure. But there is a trade off. More contact/high average is only better if it’s at a high enough rate to offset the loss of power. Hunter might be able to do that, though I’d prefer him as a Swish replacement than a Granderson replacement. I’m disappointed with Granderson’s second half, but his power still has a lot of value. Unless they can get a big haul for him, I’d rather they keep him for a year and then just get the draft pick. If the Yankees are serious about the austerity plan for ’14-15, next year might be there best chance at a WS for a few years, and Granderson would likely do more to help with that goal for 2013 than anyone they’d get in trade.
          I don’t think high power/high strikeout is a huge problem, unless the lineup has too much of that, which I think it did with Gardner out, and Nunez demoted.

          My ideal/semi-realistic lineup next year would be:
          1. Jeter SS
          2. ARod 3B
          3. Cano 2B
          4. Tex 1B
          5. Granderson DH/OF
          6. Hunter RF
          7. Pagan LF
          8. C (Martin/Ross?)
          9. Gardner CF
          With Jeter/ARod getting DH days against LHP while Gardner or Granderson get the day off.

    • Laz says:

      Why are you so quick to trade him? His value to another team is only as high as he is worth to them. He is worth the most to the yankees because he can feast off of that short right porch. He hits 40 hr a year for us, that is immensely valuable as it is, and then you want to replace him with melky? I expect him to revert back to his old self, you are looking at a lower obp, 25 fewer hr. That will significantly hurt the team, and what are you going to get for granderson on a $15M contract?

      • Nice Scheister says:

        Grandy used to be amazing, one of my favorite players. He had power (still does), speed, got to all corners of the outfield, he stole bases and an amazing role model (still is that), but all the other skills have seemingly eroded, or been far less prevalent. If they can get a decent haul for him, absolutely I’d trade him. He’s 32 next year, still in his ‘prime’, but at the years when a CFs skill set and speed start to tail off (they have), -30 UZR past two years combined. He’s become Adam Dunn playing an awful CF.

  12. rEc says:

    Ross has still hit 9 of his 21 HR off of RHP. And saying he’s good against LHP isn’t really accurate — Cody Ross murders LHP.

    You’ve got an OF full of guys who have trouble with LHP, 2 of them aren’t going to be here next year [Ibanez and Jones], one of them missed all of 2012 and isn’t really that great of a hitter anyway [Gardner], and the other is a free agent to be who has floated a $100MM+ price tag.

    The question isn’t whether Ross is a good fit — you’re very, very wrong about that Axisa. The question is whether the contract he wants would be too lucrative and too lengthy. On strictly baseball terms, Cody Ross makes a lot of sense.

    • Laz says:

      I would not go murder LHP. This year he has, but over his career he has merely been good, and mediocre vs RHP. He will be 32 in 2 months, I really doubt that this is him breaking out, it is merely a career year. People talk of not wanting swish’s decline years, but they are the same age and he has been better every single year.

      He is a career .262/.324/.461 hitter, and .268/.331/.466 this year. Gardner is a better player than Ross. Better defense by a long margin, more speed on the bases, much higher obp. If Ross hit 40 hr it would be a different story, but he hits 11-24 hr in a given year, less then arod, teix, grandy, swish, cano. Hell, even Martin is only 3 hr behind.

      • rEc says:

        It’s not really a career year at all. It’s his third 20+ HR season. Back with the Marlins he put up back to back years of .790 OPS and .804 OPS. The difference between that and his .820 this year isn’t all that significant.

        He had a pretty similar year in 2011 with the Giants, just didn’t get the HR totals where he wanted them and had a bad year with the AVG.

        It’s not really all about Gardner, though.. so I’m not really sure why the focus is on him exclusively. Ibanez; gone. Jones; gone. Granderson? Maybe he’ll get back to where he was with lefites, maybe not. Swisher? Is he coming back? Is he?

        A lot of talking down Cody Ross without looking at reality. The OF, going into next year, looks really, really bad. Especially against LHP. And, no, Gardner is not a much better player than Ross.

  13. Sweet Dick Willie says:

    The “interest” could be to drive the price up for the Sux.

    • Curtis says:

      Yep. I’d expect a report that Yanks are “very very very interested” in David Ortiz, at some point.

      • Laz says:

        I would be much more interested in Ortiz than Ross. Ortiz is still a great hitter, and it’s not like ross can make up for it with his stellar defense.

    • Mister D says:

      I wonder if Ross would even be interested in staying, assuming equal offers elsewhere. Hasn’t exactly been a fun year up here and he’ll have plenty of options.

  14. Curtis says:

    Ichiro/Melky for LF. Trade for Kendrys Morales/Victor Martinez to get power at DH. I hope Cash does something creative with a bad FA class.

  15. JTALES says:

    Let’s not have a return to the Kenny Lofton/Kevin Brown “Let’s fill our team with douchebags” days of yore …

  16. Curtis says:

    Ichiro/Melky for LF. Trade for Kendrys Morales/Victor Martinez or sign Mike Napolli to get power at DH. I think it’ll be easier/cheaper to get power with a DH acquisition.

    • Laz says:

      Because the Angels and Tigers are OBVIOUSLY not planning on competing next year and are just dying to help the yankees out. I am sure the Angels will be happy with Vernon wells at DH and the tigers with another year of delmon young and his .301 obp.

  17. DI says:

    2013 Yankees:

    LF – Melky Cabrera
    CF – Gardner
    RF – Ichiro
    DH – David Ortiz
    4OF – Dickerson or Wise

    • DI says:

      That’s at least two guys who could hit .300 or better (Cabrera and Ortiz), three who could hit .280 or better (those two and Ichiro), four who could post .350 OBP or better (starters), and four who could steal at least 10 bases each (everyone save Ortiz.)

      The Yanks also get something from trading Granderson to boot :)

    • Cuso says:

      Neither Melky nor Papi is going to be in the Bronx. Rest assured of that.

      The front office isn’t a fan of Melky’s to begin with. Plus, they’re not going after him coming off that suspension – no way in hell.

      Ortiz will command a 2-year deal at $10m /yr. Yankees will not spend that much on a DH, and that also is a guarantee

  18. Mister D says:

    Sooo … I’m in the minority here, huh? I like Ross as a platoon for Gardner plus, if Swish is back, you basically can have one guy fill in for Granderson, Swisher and Teix’s off days. You could this year, but Andruw isn’t really a 450 PA guy anymore.

  19. pistol pete says:

    If George were alive talk of Cody Ross would be non existant. He’d be looking to sign Josh Hamilton. Let Swisher go and sign Hamilton and while we’re at it pry Mauer away from Minnesota.

    • dan gen says:

      we are small market team that charges 100 plus to sit upstairs…we are not about winning at all costs..we are about staying in budget!

  20. dan gen says:

    We are are now a small market team that is concerned about payroll…..if not would have gotten darvish,cespedes and not traded montero…

  21. Cuso says:

    He’s Jason Bay Part Deux except that…..he’s worse than Jason Bay.

    Signing a right-handed “power” bat out a year after Boston is akin to signing a 16-game winner out of the NL West and expecting him to replicate/surpass those numbers in th AL East.

    I think Belted and Kuroda are the only guys to be the exception to the rules.

  22. Cuso says:

    Not to mention, does anyone find it amusing that a Boston beat-writer is claiming knowledge of the Yankees front office intent?

    Hmmm. I wonder….

    This is a bullshit report obviously fed by Henry/Lucchino Machinations Incorporated.

    Or should we believe that Sweeny Murti knows what’s going on in the Red Sox office.

    All this is is the Sawx trying to pave the way for Swisher to land in Boston by playing media games.

  23. vicki says:

    but but but, he’s a gritty trot nixon-type. he almost always gets his uniform dirty.

  24. Wayne says:

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with signing Cody Ross but we have Austin likely to be called up why do we need Ross so much? stay with Gardner for 1st 2 months.

  25. Hirokichiro says:

    The rumour could also be send a message to Swish. In the absolute best case, the yankees are probably looking to sign swisher, get melky for cheap (and hope the side effects of doping still makes him a 300 hitter), trade Granderson (for a pitcher, if they lose both petite and hiroki, or a Dh like vmart and a hard throwing middle reliever). Not certain Ichiro fits in somewhere.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.