BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today signed catcher David Ross to a two-year contract through the 2014 season. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.
Ross appeared in 62 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2012, including 47 starts behind the plate, in his fourth season with the organization and his 11th Major League campaign overall. The 35-year-old threw out 42.4 percent of attempted base stealers (14 of 33), the fourth-best rate among Major League catchers with at least 40 games at the position. A right-handed hitter, he batted .256 (45-for-176) with seven doubles, nine home runs, 23 RBI, 18 runs and 18 walks. His average of a home run every 19.56 at-bats ranked third among National League catchers with at least 150 plate appearances, while five of his nine long balls either tied the game or put the Braves ahead.
Atlanta went 54-35 (.607) in his 89 starts behind the plate over the last two seasons, the best winning percentage for any National League catcher with at least 65 starts in that time. The only catcher in the Majors with a better record from 2011-12 was Mike Napoli (.618).
Over the last four seasons, Ross has led the Majors with a 3.33 catcher’s ERA (min. 200 games), the best four-year stretch in the Major Leagues dating back to 1998. He has thrown out 37.5 percent of attempted base stealers (99 of 264) over the last eight years, the second-best rate in the Majors after Yadier Molina’s 40.0 mark (min. 400 games). In those eight seasons since 2005, he placed among the best National Leaguers in caught stealing percentage six times: 2005 (2nd, 53.8), 2006 (2nd, 41.4), 2007 (2nd, 39.0), 2009 (1st, 43.2), 2011 (4th, 31.2) and 2012 (3rd, 42.4).
Ross compiled a .269 average (155-for-577) with 36 doubles, two triples, 24 homers and 94 RBI in 227 games with Atlanta from 2009-12, and his .463 slugging percentage in those four campaigns was second among National League catchers (min. 600 PA) to Buster Posey (.503). He also placed fourth in that group in at-bats per home run (24.04), at-bats per RBI (6.14) and OPS (.816). From 2006-07, he ranked second among National League catchers with 38 combined home runs for the Cincinnati Reds, including a career-high 21 shots in 2006.
He played in eight regular season games with Boston in September 2008 after signing with the club as a minor league free agent that August. In 658 Major League games with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-04), Pittsburgh Pirates (2005), San Diego Padres (2005), Reds (2006-08), Red Sox (2008) and Braves (2009-12), he has hit .238 (405-for-1,701) with 89 doubles, five triples, 84 home runs, 248 RBI, 197 runs and 210 walks. He was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft.
Ross has appeared in six career postseason contests, including one with the Red Sox in 2008. He went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Braves’ starting catcher in the 2012 National League Wild Card Game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
With the signing, the Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 39.