Mar 3, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielderCody Ross
against the Arizona State Sun Devils during a spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Cody Ross signed a three-year, $25 million dollar contract (with a fourth year option) with the Arizona Diamondbacks before the 2013 season. It has been a difficult tenure in the desert so far for Ross as injuries and an increasingly crowded outfield have limited him to 177 games over two seasons. As he heads into the final year of his deal, the veteran seems to be all but forgotten as the D’backs try to recover from last year’s 98 loss disaster.
In short, Cody Ross has become a$9.5 million dollar fourth outfielder.
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Actually, depending on how the third base battle ends up, he could be a fifth outfielder. The starting positions belong to Mark Trumbo in left, A.J. Pollock in center and David Peralta in right. The team loves the speed and defense that Ender Inciarte brings so expect a significant number of at-bats for him. At this point, the place where Ross can get some playing time is some sort of platoon with the lefty-swinging Peralta. Then again, if Yasmany Tomas loses out to Jake Lamb at third base, it is Tomas who could end up in right, and presumably the every-day player at that position. The Snakes aren’t paying Tomas almost $69 million dollars to be a part-timer.
In 20 Spring Training at-bats, Ross is batting .350 with a .417 on-base percentage. It is important that he gets off to a fast start, no matter how often he plays, if he wants to score another deal next offseason. It is pretty safe to say Arizona will buy him out of the option at $1 million as opposed to keeping him for another $9.5 million. If he keeps up his excellent Spring performance, perhaps a team in need of an outfielder will approach the D’backs for a trade. If not, it looks as though Ross will become a pretty expensive luxury on the bench.