SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Cody Ross agreed to sign with the Boston Red Sox, giving them an experienced hitter with postseason success on his resume to help replace J.D. Drew in right field.
Fox Sports and ESPN reported the contract is for one year and $3 million. Ross told The Associated Press in a text message late Monday that the deal won’t be finalized until he takes a physical.
The 31-year-old Ross batted .240 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs for the San Francisco Giants last season while playing at least 22 games at every outfield position.
Ross became a fan favorite in San Francisco and was the 2010 NL championship series MVP for the Giants, helping them win the World Series that year after they picked him up off waivers in August. He expressed his thanks on Twitter to San Francisco fans and wrote: “Looking fwd to meeting the #redsoxnation fans!!”
The right-handed hitting Ross and newly acquired Ryan Sweeney provide the Red Sox with a righty-lefty tandem to fill right field. Drew is a free agent after completing a $70 million five-year contract. He played only 81 games last year, batting .222 with four homers and 22 RBIs in an injury-plagued season.
Ross and Sweeney also give Boston insurance in left field as Carl Crawford recovers from surgery on his left wrist. Crawford might not be ready for opening day.
With the Red Sox, Ross would join a team in transition after manager Terry Francona was let go and replaced by Bobby Valentine. Boston went 7-20 in September last year, missing the playoffs with a record collapse.
Now, Valentine’s roster is taking shape.
Late last month, the Red Sox landed a new man for the back of the bullpen when they acquired All-Star closer Andrew Bailey and Sweeney from the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Josh Reddick, infield prospect Miles Head and minor league pitcher Raul Alcantara.
Reddick spent much of last season filling in for Drew and occasionally Crawford.
Bailey gives the Red Sox a reliable ninth-inning reliever to replace Jonathan Papelbon, who signed a $50 million, four-year contract as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in November.
Last January, Ross avoided salary arbitration and signed a $6.3 million, one-year contract with San Francisco.
It was a hefty raise for the former kid rodeo clown, who earned $4.45 million in 2010 and joined the Giants on a waiver claim from Florida on Aug. 22 that year.
Ross then became one of the Giants’ most reliable players down the stretch and during an improbable title run. The franchise won its first championship since 1954 and first since moving West in 1958.
He hit three of his five postseason home runs during the NLCS against Philadelphia, and the Giants won in six games against the favored Phillies as Ross received MVP honors. He drove in 10 runs during the 2010 postseason, two in San Francisco’s five-game World Series win over the Texas Rangers.
But Ross—son of a team roper and steer wrestler—never found a steady groove in 2011 and the Giants failed to return to the playoffs.
It became clear the team was going in a different direction this winter. In November, general manager Brian Sabean acquired Melky Cabrera in a trade with the Royals.
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