Before you yell at me for being a nostalgia-drunk fanboy, my argument is this:
|vs LHP as RHB||909||.284||.353||.575||.928|
If those stats belonged to Elmarlime Faygo, I'd be interested in him. And there's a perfect way to prove that claim, too. Because you know who has similar stats against left-handed pitchers? Scott Hairston. And I'd be okay with the Giants signing him. Actually, I want the Giants to sign him, even if it takes a two-year deal. That's how bad the Giants need a lefty-mashing outfielder. Xavier Nady was the prescription last year, but the rash is still there.
Those numbers up there belong to Cody Ross. And on a day when the Andres Torres news broke, the next logical step is to wonder what the rest of the crew is doing. Well, I have a pretty good idea of what Pat Burrell is doing. But how about Ross? And what's Juan Uribe up to these days, I haven't heard a peep since he left. He's probably playing in Japan or something.
But Ross fits. He fills a need beyond the warms and the fuzzies and the annoying-the-Phillies quota that must be maintained now that Jonathan Sanchez and Eli Whiteside are both gone. A platoon of Ross and Gregor Blanco in left (or, preferably, right, if the Giants would move Pence) would be excellent defensively. If it's a strict platoon, it should be pretty good offensively, too.
Problem one: There's probably a team out there willing to give Ross a full-time job, even though he's almost certainly better as a platoon player.
Problem two: You see this?
That last number is OPS+, which accounts for park effects. The difference between 107 and 113 is almost imperceptible. Basically, Ross had the same season with the Red Sox in 2012 that he had with the Giants in 2011. The season with the Giants got him ignored on the free-agent market. The season with the Red Sox will get him something bigger than a one-year deal. And considering that Ross still has at least one more contract to sign after this deal, AT&T Park probably doesn't look that appealing.
Problem three: Cody Ross will eventually murder someone with a bat he throws into the stands. The Giants shouldn't be a party to that.
Problem four: Money? Money.
In Cody Ross's talks with the Red Sox, his side was looking for something in the 3-year, $25 million range.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 6, 2012
And it's at that point when you stop thinking Cody Ross is a good idea. But hold on a second. That seems familiar.
NL official says Cody Ross is looking for a 3-year deal.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2011
That's from last December. Ross looked. Ross didn't find. I'm looking for a three-year deal, too, but SB Nation isn't returning my e-mails. Probably because I'm sending the e-mails to email@example.com, which might not be the right address now that I think about it. It's probably firstname.lastname@example.org. Point being, if Ross thinks he's getting $25 million, that's probably too much. Heck, that's Scutaro money.
But he'll get a two-year deal, I'd think. And it won't be cheap -- more than $5 million, certainly. Possibly something between the 2/$10 million deal Jonny Gomes signed and the 2/$15 million deal Ryan Ludwick signed. If that seems steep, look at those numbers against lefties again. Remember that Ross can play center in a pinch, and that he's an excellent corner outfielder. He's worth it. Heck, that's Affeldt money.
This is a pipe dream and it's probably not going to happen. But I'd rather have Ross for two years than Nick Swisher for four. And while the Giants are saying they're tapped out, I think they might be keeping expectations low:
Source: Ichiro not only has 2 yr/$14M offer from Phillies, but 2 yr/$15M offer from team believed to be the Giants. Will take less from NYY.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 13, 2012
There's money there. Starting the offseason with Shane Victorino on the radar and ending it with Andres Torres was a nice twist. The Giants could do the same thing with Hairston and Ross. The thing is, it makes sense for the Giants as presently constructed.
(Cody Ross's last season translated into 2000 Rockies, by the way: .310/.375/.557. COME ON, GIANTS. STOP SITTING ON YOUR HANDS.)
(Also, there's another right-handed outfielder on the market, and he'd be much cheaper. Used to play for the Phillies and White Sox. Could be a good backup plan.)