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Arizona Diamondbacks Smart to Bring Veteran Cody Ross Back to NL West

ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 20:  Designated hitter Cody Ross #7 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated after scoring against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 20, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2012

The Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping they can turn back the clock on veteran outfielder Cody Ross, and why not?

Ross has been a journeyman for the past decade, but he has rarely let his teammates or fans down on or off the field since breaking into the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers in 2003.

Now, the former Boston Red Sox right fielder is headed back to the National League West after agreeing to a three-year contract with the Diamondbacks, according to ESPN baseball analyst Jim Bowden via Twitter:

Cody Ross and Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed on a 3-year $26 million dollar contract that includes a club option with $1m buyout #Source

— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 22, 2012

 

But even before Ross takes his first swing at the plate for Arizona, Diamondbacks fans can breathe a little easier knowing their club has made a smart addition to its outfield, especially with right fielder Justin Upton's future still up in the air

The deal means that the 31-year-old Ross will return to the division where he excelled with the San Francisco Giants late in 2010. Ross played 33 regular season games with the Giants after being claimed off waivers.

In the 2010 postseason, he recorded 15 hits and five home runs in 51 at-bats to help lead the Giants to the 2010 World Series title. He batted .294 in 15 games that postseason. 

Ross hadn't been to the postseason before, or since. 

Last season, he hit .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI in 476 plate appearances for the Boston Red Sox. He provided quality at-bats to go with solid defense on the struggling American League East team.

Although the numbers aren't eye-popping by any stretch, Ross, at his worst, is still a quality player to bring off the bench. He's also an excellent clubhouse presence because of his World Series experience and willingness to accept whatever role his current team wishes to give him.

He can even adapt to new atmospheres. After all, he's used to short stays and constant relocation. He's played with six different MLB teams since 2003 and will now suit up for a seventh in 2013. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is when you're looking for a steady presence. Ross will transition seamlessly, just as he has done in the past. 

There's a whole lot more good than bad involved with bringing in Cody Ross. The consummate professional, Ross will offer Arizona much more than a presence at the plate or in the outfield. 

You might say Ross peaked in 2009 with the Florida Marlins when he hit .270 with 24 home runs and 90 RBI. Sure, his best baseball is likely behind him, but it's not required for Arizona to be successful.

Ross isn't a superstar, and he probably wasn't the team's first option, but he won't disappoint. He's a great leader, and he's going to help his team win in whatever way necessary.

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