For more than five seasons, one thing was a certainty for the Reds - Jason LaRue behind the plate. With LaRue traded to the Royals, the Reds are handing the reins over to 29-year old David Ross.
Today Ross avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year deal through the 2008 season reportedly worth $4.5 million with a club option for '09.
Shortly after being acquired in a trade with the Padres during spring training, Ross quickly assumed the role of starting catcher batting .255 with 21 home runs and 52 RBI. He appeared in 90 games, catching 32 of Bronson Arroyo’s 35 starts.
"It'll be a different feel than I've ever had before," Ross told MLB.com. "Usually, I'm going to spring training battling for a job. It's nice to know I'll be able to go down there preparing to win."
Ross impressed many within the Reds organization with his professionalism and competitive spirit. If he can cure some of his fundamental struggles on defense, Ross has the potential to be mentioned among the finest catchers in the league this season.