An industry source told WEEI that the Red Sox and Cody Ross will not reach an agreement before the midnight deadline, allowing the free-agent outfielder to sign with any team.
Ross batted .267 with 22 home runs, .326 OBP, .481 slugging mark and .807 OPS in 130 games in 2012.
While the Sox have expressed interest in retaining a player who proved comfortable in Boston and features a made-for-Fenway swing, GM Ben Cherington also hinted on Thursday (in an interview with WEEI's Red Sox Hot Stove Show) that it seemed likely that Ross would explore the market. "He’s in a better position this year than he was last year. That’s good for him. It creates a bigger challenge for us in trying to find a deal that works for him and works for us," Cherington said. "We have talked, and talked a lot. Time will tell. … He’ll have options. We’ll have to weigh what it would take to sign him versus alternatives in the market."