Cody Ross was the coup of the offseason last winter for the Red Sox.
When the Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro to the Rockies, it opened up the financial flexibility for general manager Ben Cherington to sign Ross to a one-year, $3 million contract.
At that point, Ross was reeling from a mediocre 2011 campaign. Although he showcased his talent in the clutch with his performance in the 2010 playoffs, Ross failed to recapture that magic.
That all changed, however, when he joined the Red Sox. In his first season with the team, Ross developed into a right-handed threat in
the lineup, belting 22 home runs and 81 RBIs through 130 games.
With a swing suited for Fenway Park, Ross endeared himself to fans while handling the Boston media with ease.
For those reasons, the Red Sox are currently in negotiations with the outfielder to keep him around for the next few seasons. They’ll have until Friday at midnight, when the deadline expires for clubs to exclusively negotiate with their free agents.
Given the team’s financial flexibility, Ross will likely re-sign with Boston and patrol right field. There’s a slight possibility the organization could shift him to left field –– since he can play both corners –– in case they sign a prized free agent to man right.
But all indications point to Ross staying in right field, where he’s more comfortable. There were a few occasions last season where Ross misplayed balls in left due to the presence of the Green Monster.
Behind Ross, the Red Sox can contemplate their options with Ryan Sweeney or toying with the idea of bringing back Scott Podsednik. At 36 — fresh off an abbreviated 2011 season in the minors — Podsednik was quite a surprise in his limited opportunities.
His experience and speed on the base paths could prompt Boston to re-sign him to come off the bench. It’s unlikely, however, the Red Sox would make a play to keep Sweeney (eligible for arbitration), whose season ended after he broke his knuckle by punching a door.
Regardless, it’s beginning to sound like Ross is the choice to hold down the fort in right field moving forward.