Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 11/4/12
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. Speaking by phone Saturday afternoon, free agent Cody Ross said that he and the Red Sox never closed in on a potential deal leading up to the end of the period allowing the Sox exclusive negotiating rights. “It hasn’t been really what I would say close,” said Ross. Ross said his agent, Mike Milchin, received calls from “multiple teams” after the midnight deadline expired Friday night expressing interest in the 31 year-old. It’s a dynamic that has altered Ross’ mindset heading into the rest of the offseason. “Yeah, definitely, because now it’s going to be more complex with other teams involved. It’s not just [the Red Sox],” he explained when asked if his thinking had changed post-deadline. “They had a ton of opportunities. We talked about this back in July and we couldn’t work anything out up until the deadline. Now it only makes sense to listen to other teams. But obviously we’re going to talk [with the Red Sox." Still, when asked if he had an inkling as to what was about to transpire, Ross admitted, "To be 100 percent honest with you, no, not one bit." One possibility that seemingly was in play leading up to Friday was that of the Red Sox offering the one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer to Ross. If the Sox did choose that route, it would have been presumably to prioritizing keeping any commitment short-term while paying more annually that would be earned in a multi-year deal. WEEI: Cody Ross: Red Sox 'had a ton of opportunities' to get deal done Cody Ross was a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox in 2012, aside from all the strikeouts. Ross provided a couple of walk-off's, some late-inning heroics, big home runs, all to result in a last place finish. The finish isn't the point, it is more of the bargain that the Red Sox got for his production. Cody's $3 million contract was obviously well short of his value to the team, but the Sox sure don't think that a $10 million raise is a reasonable offer. The stats prove that Fenway Park is a perfect place for Cody's bat. At Fenway, Cody Ross had a .298 average, a .921 OPS, 74 hits, 25 doubles, 1 triple. 13 homers, 49 RBI, and 59 strikeouts. On the road, Cody batted .232, with a .684 OPS, 53 hits, 9 double, 0 triples, 9 homers, 32 RBI, and 70 strikeouts. Overall, he had his best season since 2009, and the second best of his career. If the Sox played at Fenway for 162 games, I would be all for the $13.3 million. Cody Ross is more of a 6-8, maybe 9 million dollar man, and it all depends on where he plays. Detroit would likely be a horrible place for Cody. Safeco Field in Seattle would probably be another place that doesn't suit his bat. There are others, but I'll let you do the research on the sizes of the rest of the parks in the league. I would love to see Cody Ross come back to Boston for 2013 and possibly beyond, but I am not sure if the Sox are willing to bring him back for anything above the double-digit mark. Some team in the league is probably going to throw him a contract that will far outweigh the financial positives of one that the Red Sox will throw at him, and he will bite. Who knows if Cody will ever have an opportunity like this again, where his value is at it's peak for possibly the last time. It will be interesting to see what he is offered by other teams. (Photo: Jim Rogash, Getty Images) On page 2, is trading Ellsbury the Sox' best option for this off-season? The Red Sox [team stats] seem to have so many needs — better rotation, thunder in the lineup, outfield, shortstop, first base — that it is easy, now that we are officially in free agent season, to get sucked into the mindset that the team must go out and sign up that help this offseason in order to win in 2013. It is exactly that mindset that the Red Sox need to avoid like the plague. Trading Jacoby Ellsbury [stats], however, looks to be the smartest way to proceed, and here’s why. Winning in 2013 — meaning, reaching the playoffs — is far from a longshot, but just as far from being a lock. Obviously, if the Red Sox are not in contention for a wild card spot at the least by next August, then something will have gone horribly wrong this winter, because the team’s returning core is still well above average compared to the other teams in the league. Still, whether they use the word or not, the Red Sox are in “rebuilding” mode and must not get caught in the same vicious cycle of buying their way out of roster needs, a la the great spending spree of the last three years. What needs to be stressed at this point in the offseason is that the self-discipline that general manager Ben Cherington has been stressing since the Nick Punto deal in August is no joke. The most important component to a bright future for the Sox does lie in players not with the team right now, but they are not free agents or major league trade bait. The quickest way for the Red Sox to get better and stay better is ensuring that they bring up their best young prospects as soon as possible. Herald: Sox' best bet: Deal Jacoby Ellsbury It is hard to agree with Michael Silverman, because he follows with the result of going with Jackie Bradley in center and Bogaerts at short. That would be great if they were ready. Bradley may be before Bogaerts, but another season in the minors would be best. I am not sure bringing Bryce Brentz up in 2013 is the best idea either. Maybe mid-season. Of the 3, Bryce Brentz would probably be the closest to ready for the majors. If they are not thought to be ready, that would then result in acquiring talent via a signing or trade. Obviously. Silverman suggests names like Stephen Drew,  Elvis Andrus, and starting pitching, which still leaves a hole in the outfield to be filled with minor-leaguers listed above. Again, I would be all for it if we were going into the 2014 season. Also, it would be hard to sell me on names like Drew and Andrus. Elvis Andrus is the younger guy that has a lot to prove. Not much power and run production, but a lot of speed. He has shown the potential in the past, but not consistently. Stephen Drew, well, we don't want another Drew here, even though it would likely be a one-year deal. Silverman needs to bring his trade thoughts back to the drawing board. The only other link: Herald: Free agents fill up Sox' shopping list
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