Today begins many of the negotiations for arbitration-eligible players, including several of the Giants’ stars: Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez, Cody Ross, Jonathon Sanchez and Andres Torres. Mike Fontenot was on the list previously as well, but signed early with the Giants for $1.05 million.
Good news came right away, luckily, as the news broke that Cody Ross and the Giants avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal worth $6.3 million, assuring fans that we have another year of the goofy, smiley right-fielder and his crazy luck.
Ross is one of the more unpredictable players, as he batted just .265/.316/.405 in 2010 on the Marlins before becoming the Giants starting right fielder and post-season hero. He was arguably the most energizing player in the Giants offense, getting the offense started against the best pitchers in the game -including a home run against Derek Lowe, two homers against Roy “I just won the Cy Young” Halladay – and leading the “inept” Giants offense to a stunning World Series victory!
So is all of that worth $6.3 million? Well, post-season aside, Ross had a WAR somewhere between 1.o and 2.2, depending on which calculation you use, and roughly the same in 2009. Still, he seemed to be a whole new player when he came to the Giants, upping his stats to .288/.354/.466 in his 33 games in black and orange, and a stunning .294/.390/.686 in the post-season. Various projection systems believe he will be something similar to last year, which will make him a worthy starting right-fielder, especially if he continues to revitalize his career, as tends to be the case with baseball players from Florida who go to San Francisco mid-season.
So, is it impulsive to pay $6.3 million to a player who had a great month, but who may lose his starting job mid-season to a Brandon Belt-related shuffle, and will almost certainly regress back to his career numbers? Sure, maybe a little. Am I psyched that Babe Ross will be a Giant for another year? Hell yes I am.
He’s a fan favorite, and he deserves it, so just call it a bonus.
Welcome back, Cody. Go Giants!