The Padres and Cody Ross

As Cody Ross wades through the free agent market, searching for a suitor who will match his requirements and provide him the security he needs, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at a player who could have been a Padre.  Inside the Padres has a great analysis of Ross, the Padres, and the Giants from last year, and in that analysis it is revealed Ross really wasn’t going to go to San Diego.  It was a possibility though leading up to the Giants putting a waiver claim in on the outfielder.

The 2010 season was a great one in terms of rivalry.  The Padres and the Giants were battling all season.  Thanks to a 10-game collapse, the Padres essentially handed the Giants the NL West and eventually the World Series.  However, one player had interested both teams during the battle for the division; Cody Ross.

Cody Ross was drafted in the 4th round of the 1999 draft by the Detroit Tigers.  He played six games for the Tigers but was eventually tossed to the Dodgers.  From there Ross had stops in Cincinnati (only two games), Miami, and San Francisco.  In each location, he did nothing but hit.

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1999 18 DET-min 42 163 142 19 31 8 3 4 18 16 28 .218 .304 .401 .706
2000 19 DET-min 122 507 434 71 116 17 9 7 68 55 83 .267 .356 .396 .753
2001 20 DET-min 127 546 482 84 133 34 5 15 80 44 96 .276 .337 .461 .798
2002 21 DET-min 105 454 400 73 112 28 3 19 72 44 86 .280 .352 .508 .859
2003 22 DET-min 124 520 470 74 135 35 6 20 61 32 86 .287 .333 .515 .848
2003 22 DET 6 22 19 1 4 1 0 1 5 1 3 .211 .286 .421 .707 90
2005 24 LAD-min 115 448 393 79 105 21 4 22 63 49 103 .267 .348 .509 .857
2005 24 LAD 14 26 25 1 4 1 0 0 1 1 10 .160 .192 .200 .392 4
2006 25 CIN-min 15 64 50 11 17 1 0 3 6 13 12 .340 .484 .540 1.024
2006 25 TOT 101 298 269 34 61 12 2 13 46 22 65 .227 .293 .431 .724 87
2006 25 LAD 8 14 14 4 7 1 1 2 9 0 2 .500 .500 1.143 1.643 303
2006 25 CIN 2 5 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .200 .200 .200 .400 2
2006 25 FLA 91 279 250 30 53 11 1 11 37 22 61 .212 .284 .396 .680 76
2007 26 FLA-min 7 24 23 2 6 1 0 2 3 1 6 .261 .292 .565 .857
2007 26 FLA 66 197 173 35 58 19 0 12 39 20 38 .335 .411 .653 1.064 173
2008 27 FLA 145 506 461 59 120 29 5 22 73 33 116 .260 .316 .488 .804 107
2009 28 FLA 151 604 559 73 151 37 1 24 90 34 122 .270 .321 .469 .790 104
2010 29 TOT 153 569 525 71 141 28 3 14 65 37 121 .269 .322 .413 .735 95
2010 29 FLA 120 487 452 60 120 24 3 11 58 30 100 .265 .316 .405 .721 91
2010 29 SFG 33 82 73 11 21 4 0 3 7 7 21 .288 .354 .466 .819 122
2011 30 SFG-min 2 8 6 1 3 1 0 0 2 2 1 .500 .625 .667 1.292
2011 30 SFG 121 461 405 54 97 25 0 14 52 49 96 .240 .325 .405 .730 105
8 Seasons 757 2683 2436 328 636 152 11 100 371 197 571 .261 .323 .456 .779 105
162 Game Avg. 162 574 521 70 136 33 2 21 79 42 122 .261 .323 .456 .779 105
FLA (5 yrs) 573 2073 1895 257 502 120 10 80 297 139 437 .265 .322 .465 .788 104
SFG (2 yrs) 154 543 478 65 118 29 0 17 59 56 117 .247 .330 .414 .744 108
LAD (2 yrs) 22 40 39 5 11 2 1 2 10 1 12 .282 .300 .538 .838 113
CIN (1 yr) 2 5 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .200 .200 .200 .400 2
DET (1 yr) 6 22 19 1 4 1 0 1 5 1 3 .211 .286 .421 .707 90
NL (7 yrs) 751 2661 2417 327 632 151 11 99 366 196 568 .261 .323 .456 .779 105
AL (1 yr) 6 22 19 1 4 1 0 1 5 1 3 .211 .286 .421 .707 90
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2012.

Ross is a career .261/.323/.456 hitter.  Obviously those aren’t superstar numbers.  They are, however, the type of numbers a blue-collar, every day starting outfielder should put up.  Yet, he’s never been coveted enough to stay with one team longer than the five years he spent in Florida.

Ross is 31 now and looking for a new home once again.  San Diego is no longer an option as they have 5 outfielders on the roster who are all hoping for playing time.  However, in 2010, Ross was an option.  Unfortunately, Jed Hoyer and the Padres used Ross as a pawn in a plan to get the Giants to waste a roster position and pick up a player they otherwise wouldn’t have.  The plan back-fired in magnificent fashion.

On August 24, 2010, Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune wrote, “thinking the Padres were interested in Ross with Tony Gwynn going on the disabled list, San Francisco blocked the Padres from acquiring the Marlin on a waiver deal by claiming Ross ahead of the Padres (claiming order is based on the reverse won-loss record).”

The Padres may not have truly been interested in Ross, but they should have been.  With the Giants in 2010, Ross played in 33 games, hit .288/.354/.466, clubbed three home runs, and posted a 122 OPS+.  In doing so, he helped lead the Giants past a Padres team that struggled to find the offense to finish off the season.

Now, after spending all of 2011 with the Giants, and putting up solid numbers once again, Ross is on the market.  Ross will never be a super-star, but he is a clubhouse leader.  He’s the type of guy that plays hard, inspires a team, and finds ways to win.  San Diego missed out on him, but some team this off-season is going to land a hard-nosed competitor.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Braves, the Rockies, the Reds, the Athletics, and now the Mets have all shown interest in Ross.  He will surely land somewhere soon, and when he does, that team instantly finds itself in a better position.  When calculating the Jed Hoyer era in San Diego, it’s important to remember was part of the reason Cody Ross ended up in San Francisco.  Unintended consequences are consequences nonetheless.

 

Tags: A's Cody Ross Dodgers Giants Marlins Mets Padres Reds Rockies Tigers

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