BOSTON -- Facing free agency at the end of the 2012 season, former Boston Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross felt confident that he would return to Boston after a year that saw him as one of the team's few bright spots.
“I figured there would be a good chance of coming back,” Ross said. “Both sides expressed interest in doing it.”
However, things don’t always go according to plan.
“It happens, it’s baseball. I’m not the first person, I won’t be the last,” Ross continued.
Returning to Fenway Park on Friday night for the first time as a member of his new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Ross shed some light on a tumultuous offseason that left the 32-year-old feeling “jaded.”
“I expressed my interest in coming back,” said Ross, who signed a one-year deal with Boston last January. “I don’t know if the fact that I expressed to them first that I wanted to come back may have hurt me a little bit -- showing my hand, if you will. Things happen for a reason, I’m a firm believer in that.”
Instead of re-signing Ross, the Red Sox handed multi-year contracts to outfielder Shane Victorino and first baseman Mike Napoli (whose contract was reduced to one year following the discovery of a hip condition). Ross, who said he had a great relationship with Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington, said the deals caught him off guard.
“When you hear one thing from the top that they’re going to not sign guys to long-term deals then turn around a week later and do it, it doesn’t really ... I’m a person too, you know? I’m not just a baseball player, I have emotions and feelings. Even though some people might not think that we do, we do.”
So, 10 days after the Red Sox inked Victorino for three years, Ross signed a three-year contract of his own to play with the Diamondbacks in his home state of Arizona, something he said could not have worked out any better for him. However, the outfielder is happy to return to Boston, even if it is just for the weekend.
“Obviously I miss Boston. I miss the city, teammates. It’s nice to be back,” he said.