Cody Ross signed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Diamondbacks in a deal that came together Tuesday when the Arizona brass decided to target the Scottsdale resident.
Ross said he never got back to the Red Sox, or any of the other teams interested in his services, once the Diamondbacks put together their offer.
“I don’t know what happened, but we could never agree on terms,” he said of his dealings with the Red Sox. “They thought I’d come back no matter what because they thought I loved playing there. And I did. Who wouldn’t love playing at Fenway Park? I just wanted a fair deal. I told them what I wanted. I wasn’t trying to break the bank. They weren’t willing to do it.”
Sources indicate the Red Sox were trying to re-sign Ross for two years, but Ross was seeking a three-year deal worth between $21 million and $31 million — terms comparable with contracts Josh Willingham (Twins) and Michael Cuddyer (Rockies) signed last year.
Ross also said that he probably got along with manager Bobby Valentine better than any other player on the team. He said Valentine texted him to congratulate him.
“When Bobby came in, his way of doing things was a lot different than what they were used to under Terry Francona and it was a shock to them,” said Ross. “They weren’t on board with it. For me, I’d played for four or five managers and for me it was, ‘OK, this is the way he does things.’ We never butted heads. I had a good relationship with Bobby.”
The Diamondbacks came out of the blue. General manager Kevin Towers said he had a meeting with managing general partner Ken Kendrick, who said he had a name of a free agent he thought could help. Kendrick asked Towers if he also had a name. It turned out they both had Ross on their list.
Towers said his phone “blew up” after the Ross signing, with teams inquiring about Justin Upton, Jason Kubel, among others in a now-crowded Arizona outfield. Towers said he doesn’t necessarily have to deal anyone, but Kubel and Upton are in demand.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at email@example.com.