Like most people, I was baffled at first when I heard the news that the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Cody Ross to a three-year, $26 million dollar deal. It added another player to an already crowded outfield. Also, the money seems kind of steep for an organization that tends to be more frugal than excessive in it’s spending habits. Perhaps my biggest concern with this signing, is the timing of it and I don’t mean three days before Christmas.
Cody Ross swings into an already crowded D’back outfield. Image: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
As a couch GM, I would have thought that if the team wanted to trade one of it’s outfielders, that they would leverage as much as they could out of the situation. By trading for Ross and then trying to trade one of your outfielders, general manger Kevin Towers would seem to be dealing from a position of weakness and therefore able to obtain less in any deal involving his surplus of outfielders. Why would someone give up anything of value when they know Arizona won’t be able to find playing time for everyone which would make their players unhappy?
By making a trade first, one would think Towers would be able to extract a #2 or #3 starter if a pitcher is what he is after. Ross probably would have been signed to the same contract amount if Justin Upton, Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra were dealt before he had signed with the D’backs.
If playing time was dictated by money, then Kubel, Ross and Upton would be the starting outfielders. However, the team seems to be committed to Adam Eaton as the every day center fielder. The Ross signing probably means Eaton is on a short leash. What is to become of Parra, who has to be seething at the latest turn of events?
Kevin Towers is a smart guy and I am sure manager Kirk Gibson feels that if no other deals are made, he can make the abundance of outfielders work. Still, you have to wonder if the team would have been better served to make a trade to clear some room in the outfield before it becomes a major distraction and potential problem for the organization.
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