Cody Ross To Arizona: Your Move, Sandy

By Rich Sparago

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Cody Ross has signed a three-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. It had been reported that Sandy Alderson was “kicking the tires” on Ross, and now the Mets GM needs to look elsewhere for an everyday outfielder.

September 30, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross (7) in the on-deck circle in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 6 – 3. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Ross signing, in my opinion, is a loss for the Mets. Ross is a solid defensive outfielder, who can play all three positions. In addition, Ross is a RH hitter, and posted  a line of .267, 22 HR and 81 RBI. Those numbers would have looked nice in the Mets lineup, particularly when compared to the historical production of the current crop of outfielders slated for 2013, Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Mike Baxter. All of the currently projected outfielders for 2013 are LH hitters. So where does Sandy turn now?

One option would be Scott Hairston. In Matt Musico’s piece here on Rising Apple, Matt indicates that Hairston is looking for a two-year deal, possibly worth $10 million. While Hairston had a fine year in 2012, you have to ask yourself if commiting that kind of money to Hairston is wise. Hairston in known to mash LH pitching, but can struggle against RH pitching. Now that Arizona has a collection of outfielders, they may be looking to part with one of them in a trade. Two names that have popped up as trade candidates are Jason Kubel and Justin Upton. Kubel clubbed 30 HRs in 2012, and drove in 90 runs. While those numbers are impressive, Kubel is a poor defensive outfielder. The thought of him in the large Citi Field outfield is quite unsettling to me. Upton, on the other hand, is very athletic, and posted 17 HRs and a .280 BA in 2012. I think Upton is a far better fit for the Mets, who need speed and defensive prowess in the outfield. Other available options for the Mets include Michael Bourn and possibly Coco Crisp. Bourn may be out of the Mets price range, but Crisp may make sense for New York. His 39 SBs would bring speed to the club, and Crisp is a well-respected veteran who should fit nicely in the clubhouse.

As we approach the Christmas holiday, the Mets outfield is in need of work, and the options are slowly dwindling. Sandy Alderrson may have something up his sleeve to address the outfield, and there are almost two months left before pitchers and catchers report. No need for us to panic, right? Right? Let’s see what the new year brings in the way of outfield help. In the meantime, best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.