Best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s: 25. Cody Ross
By Joel Reuter
Cody Ross went from August waiver claim to October hero during his time with the San Francisco Giants.
The San Francisco Giants claimed outfielder Cody Ross off waivers from the Florida Marlins on Aug. 22, 2010.
After posting a 105 OPS+ with back-to-back 20-homer seasons with the Marlins in 2008 and 2009, Ross was hitting .265/.316/.405 with 11 home runs and 58 RBI in 120 games when he was claimed by the Giants.
While he still had a year of arbitration remaining, his $4.45 million salary in 2009 was likely to climb close to $6 million in 2010, and the Marlins opted for a cost-cutting move by giving him away for nothing more than a waiver claim.
Having already plucked Pat Burrell from the scrapheap, the Giants were still looking for outfield help for the stretch run, and Ross provided them with just that.
In 33 games in San Francisco, he hit .288/.354/.466 with four doubles, three home runs and seven RBI in 82 plate appearances.
That was only the beginning.
The 29-year-old went on to hit .294/.390/.686 with five doubles, five home runs and 10 RBI in 15 postseason games, taking home NLCS MVP honors after going 7-for-20 with three doubles and three home runs against the Philadelphia Phillies to help the Giants advance to the Fall Classic.
He returned in a $6.3 million salary for the 2011 season and while he failed to live up to the high bar he set in October, he was still productive.
In 461 plate appearances, he batted .240/.325/.405 for a 107 OPS+ with 25 doubles, 14 home runs and 52 RBI in a 0.5 WAR season.
He departed in free agency during the offseason and signed with the Boston Red Sox on a one-year, $3 million deal, proving to be one of the steals of the winter with a 115 OPS+, 34 doubles, 22 home runs and 81 RBI.
All told, he played just 154 regular-season games and 15 playoff games in a San Francisco Giants uniform, but his stellar postseason performance earned him a place in franchise lore.
Check back here regularly as we count down the 50 best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s.