Red Sox keep door open for Cody Ross

Elsa

Cody Ross seems to be headed out of Beantown, but not so fast, says general manager Ben Cherington.

The Boston Red Sox have been perhaps the busiest team at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, signing catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli and outfielder Shane Victorino to identical three-year, $39 million contracts.

The Victorino deal would seem to eliminate the chance for Cody Ross to return, but general manager Ben Cherington says that isn't the case, according to weei.com.

"Obviously I don't want to say too much about the specific nature of the conversations because they go back a ways," said Cherington of talks with Ross, who is seeking a three-year deal, while the Red Sox are looking at a two-year commitment. "As of now we haven't been able to find something that makes sense, but the door is still open and we'll see what else happens. Again, he has other options."

Of course, it still seems that the fit just isn't right at this point with the additions of Victorino and Jonny Gomes, who also plays the outfield when he isn't a designated hitter.

Ross played quite well for the Red Sox last year, hitting .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI. However, Ross wants a three-year deal, something Boston is reluctant to do. The team is more comfortable with only a couple of years, leaving the sides at odds.

After getting rid of huge contracts such as Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford this year, Cherington doesn't want any massive commitments on the payroll, per weei.com.

"Just really trying to keep as many guaranteed years as possible within a certain range of age, trying to keep guys as close to the prime years as possible," he said. "I think anybody is trying to do that. That's been a focus. Really, we've been focused on short to medium-term deals and there happen to be, we think a number of a fits for the team this winter that kind of fit into that category."

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