David Ross is considered perhaps the best backup catcher in baseball. And now he is joining the Boston Red Sox. Ross reached agreement Saturday with the Red Sox on a two-year, free-agent contract, according to major-league sources.
Ross will be "more than a backup but not a starter" for the Red Sox, according to one source. The Sox could move one of their current catchers, Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Ryan Lavarnway. The team's plans are unclear.
Ross, 35, spent the last four years with the Atlanta Braves serving as the back-up catcher to perennial All-Star Brian McCann. Ross hit well during his four-year tenure with the Braves -- .269/.353/.463 with twenty-four home runs while averaging fifty-seven games a year -- but saw his on-base numbers decline significantly the past two seasons.
Now an eleven-year MLB veteran, Ross joins the Red Sox for the second time in his career, having spent a month in the organization at the end of the 2008 season.
Boston's signing of Ross leaves the Braves -- who had wanted to bring Ross back -- in a bit of a pickle. McCann underwent shoulder surgery last month and is expected to miss the beginning of the 2013 season, leaving Atlanta catcher-less for April at the moment.
Finalization of Ross' deal is still pending a physical.