Diamondbacks Steal Cody Ross from Mets

Just when the Mets were on the verge of considering taking a look at Cody Ross as a possible topic for an upcoming front office meeting, the Diamondbacks swooped in and signed the veteran outfielder to a three-year, $26M contract.

No grass grows under those Diamondbacks’ feet … er, I guess it would be under their belly, eh? In any case, take Ross off your fantasy board of outfielders the Mets would never afford anyway.

Not that it’s a big loss; by himself, Ross was not going to catapult the Mets into the postseason. And that’s the easiest way to explain away this winter: keep every single signing in a vacuum. Because it’s true — even the reincarnation of Babe Ruth, on his own, wouldn’t be enough to make the Mets a contender. Never mind the nonsense theory of something being more valuable than the sum of its parts.

So, where do the Mets go from here? Well, they already locked up Collin Cowgill, so maybe they don’t need any more outfielders. We looked at the remainder of corner outfielders a week ago, and it was pretty sparse — with Ross or Nick Swisher as the best of a weak lot. Those left include Swisher, Delmon Young, Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez, Austin Kearns, and Matt Diaz. Chances are pretty good that Swisher is out of the Mets’ budget, so Young may be the best possible option on the free agent market.

Oh, right, I keep forgetting — many Mets fans consider Scott Hairston an option. I suppose he is, but, like most of the others available, he’s a platoon player — a fourth outfielder. And now he’s seeking a contract similar to what the Red Sox gave Jonny Gomes – two years, $10M. Considering how little the Mets have in their budget, is that how much you’d want them to spend on someone not playing every day? I might rather put that money toward two players to fill a full platoon, or a skill-position player (i.e., center fielder or second baseman), or a starting pitcher.

What’s your thought? Are you happy the Mets passed on Ross? Is there someone you’d rather see them go after to fill a corner outfield spot? Or are you confident that Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter, and other in-house alternatives will be just fine. Answer in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. SiddFinch December 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    Colby Lewis
    Shaun Marcum
    Dice K
    Carlos Zambrano
    Randy Wolf
    Ben Sheets

    Those are some names still out that they should kick the tires on. Could they afford them? Who knows, but each are a better option than Saunders.

    • Joe Janish December 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm
      Based on what others have been getting, I would be stunned if the Mets had enough to sign Marcum. However, the buzz around Marcum has been strangely quiet, for whatever reason.

      I can’t imagine this front office signing Carlos Zambrano.

      Colby Lewis is still property of the Rangers. He’s coming off a major elbow injury and Texas hopes to see him return by midseason.

      Ben Sheets retired, as far as I know.

      I’ve heard Dice-K wants to go to San Diego, possibly to be closer to Japan? Though, perhaps he’s an option for the Mets.

      Randy Wolf is coming off a pretty bad year, and he usually alternates good/bad, so by that theory 2013 could be good.

      I don’t know – the pickings are getting slimmer by the day.

  2. nickel7168 December 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm
    “Diamondbacks Steal Cody Ross from Mets”

    If you think the Mets were ever going to seriously consider spending what it would take to sign Cody Ross, then you are seriously deluded.

    • Joe Janish December 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm
      If you think I ever seriously thought the Mets were going to consider spending what it would take to sign Cody Ross, then you clearly didn’t read past the headline.
  3. Don O'Brien December 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm
    I think your first sentence was sarcasm: “Just when the Mets were [1] on the VERGE of [2] CONSIDERING [3] TAKING A LOOK AT….”

    Funny stuff. However I think you’re wrong on Hairston. Give him 2/8. We need his bat to platoon and pinch hit, if not more.

    • Joe Janish December 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm
      Yes, that was sarcasm; glad you enjoyed it.

      The Mets need to spend 40% of their winter budget for someone to start only against LHPs and pinch hit? Seems extravagant to me, but we can agree to disagree.

      I’m still concerned about who is going to play CF and RF regularly, and would think finding starting players would be a priority over filling out the bench. But, what do I know?

      Then again, maybe the Mets plan to have platoons at all three OF positions – in which case, they better move quickly and better increase the budget.

  4. Craig Roth December 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm
    With Murph,Wright, Davis,Ross, and Duda hiting
    2nd to 6th in the lineup the mets might have had
    a good balanced hitting lineup but now we will
    never know? I don’t think three years at 26
    million was over priced for 22 hrs & 80 rbis
    a year for a 31 year old right hand hitting
    right fielder! While the mets ponder who to sign
    nobody will be left! Its not like we have a lot of
    choices in our minor’s or on our team!!
    • Joe Janish December 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm
      Agreed. The longer the Mets wait, the fewer options are available. Unless they sign Kearns, I can’t imagine their next outfielder is a free-agent. But at the same time, I have no idea who they have as a trade chip. Very few of the veterans on their roster are coveted by other teams, and I would think they would hold tight to any prospects who show potential.
    • DaveSchneck December 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm
      Craig,
      Cody Ross had a .684 OPS away from Fenway Park in 2012. In 2011, at home in SF, a park similar to Citifield, he had a .735 OPS. He will probably hit well in Arizona because it is a big time hitter’s park, but I just don’t see this guy bringing value to the Mets for that kind of money. Yes, they really need an RH OF bat, but I’d rather them give those ABs to Duda and Captain Kirk instead of overpaying for 3 years for a borderline 4th OF in his mid 30s.
      • TexasGusCC January 2, 2013 at 4:46 am
        The problem is they want a RF so that Duda can move to left. How many free agents that hit righty can play a decent rightfield? Not Young, not Kearns, not my sneek pick Carlos Lee. So, now what? Am I in the minority in that I would trade Niese for Upton? Upton is younger and a better player than Niese. How much better can Niese get? Where Upton can be 30/30 every year, and that is upper echelon. Is Niese upper echelon, with his 90-92 mph heater?
        • Joe Janish January 2, 2013 at 9:05 am
          You bring up a good point. I hadn’t been thinking about Duda; I considered him to be a fourth or fifth outfielder, playing 1B in AAA, or trade bait. Now that you mention it, I’m not sure who would play RF. Though, I’m also still unclear as to who is in CF. And LF. So there you go.

          I wouldn’t think twice about trading Niese for Upton, though I’m sure there are legions of Mets fans who disagree. My opinion is that NIese has hit his ceiling, and though he’s valuable, for a team like the Mets that is rebuilding, his greatest value is in trade for younger players with the potential for impact. So I’m with you.

  5. Quinn December 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm
    Is valdespin Considered expendable and I read somewhere turner is the new project for a corner of spot so it is possible they will platoon the coeners
  6. Jeff December 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm
    Delmon Young ain’t happening. Not after his late-night, drunken, anti-Semitic rant and assault on the streets of New York this past April. He could apologize until the cows come home. I hate his guts.
  7. Izzy December 23, 2012 at 8:50 am
    Why the concern? Alderson will tell you they wil contend. Maybe in the next decade. Met fans hated OPhillips… He produced a winner. Met fans hated Omar. He produced a winner. Met fans love teflon Sandy. He saves money for the Wilpons and he produices losers. WINNING DOESN’T MATTER, these are the new Mets. We are only allowed to worry about Wilpon finances.
  8. Dan B December 23, 2012 at 10:45 am
    I might not be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree but I am beginning to think izzy is not an Alderson fan. I don’t understand the belief that platooning is a secret path to quality outfield production. We are not talking Mookie/Dykstra platoon.
  9. SiddFinch December 23, 2012 at 11:21 am
    Now the Mets need to put a package together and make a pitch for Upton. Towers likes to trade so maybe Alderson can stay hot and follow up the Toronto blockbuster with another major deal. It’s time for Sandy to really show his GM mettle and demonstrate that the Wheeler and Dickey deals weren’t flukes. Bringing Upton over from Arizona is the perfect follow-up to the Toronto deal.
    • mike B December 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm
      Stay hot? My 12 year old sister could have made that RA trade and I dont even have a 12 year old sister. The Mets have no one to offer, you going to send Niese over? We cant send Duda, Baxter, Kirk, Murphy or Turner over. They are much too valuable to the Wilpons Wallet.
  10. Evan December 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    I wish the mets could have gotten Bourjous… He would have filled so many holes… Lets hope the kids from Toronto will turn out good for the mets.

    All free agent options don’t even seem possible for a starting OF spot in the majors… The best outfielder is Duda… In 2014 when the mets plan to turn the page, who’s going to be in the OF!?! Nimmo won’t be ready and you could potentially have all 3 spots vacant. I think they will sign another 4th outfielder and then mid season, look for Johan Santana to be traded, potentially to Sox for maybe Jacoby. Mets will not just let Johan walk as they let Reyes walk when they could have gotten someone like Matt Moore from the Rays…if they do something like that and the young arms are for real then 2014 could be fun in Queens.

    • Dan December 25, 2012 at 9:44 am
      The full no trade clause with a 5.5M option buyout to avoid paying him 25M for 2014 will probably eliminate any possibility of a mid season trade involving Santana.
      • Joe Janish December 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm
        Unless Johan wants a shot at a postseason experience.
        • Andy December 27, 2012 at 10:19 am
          Isn’t it a lot to hope for Johan to be even pitching again in July?
        • Joe Janish January 2, 2013 at 9:07 am
          Good point. But, aren’t hopes and wishes the foundation of Mets planning and strategy?