Is $25 million over 3 years worth 70 HR and 255 RBI to the Red Sox? Because of Cody Ross can give the team for 3 more years the same production he gave them in the 2012 season, those are the numbers that $8.3 million a year will fund.
Ross produced at that level for $3 million last year, and when you look at what other outfielder's of Ross's caliber made last year, you can see why Ross wants more:
Nick Swisher - $10.5 million
Andre Ethier - $10.95 million
Nelson Cruz - $5 million
Ben Zobrist - $4.5 million
Colby Rasmus - $2.7 million, but Colby is 26 and only has 3 seasons of MLB experience
So at 2012 market values, $8.3 million a year for Cody Ross trends towards overpaying him but it's still not as much as what some veterans are paid. But this doesn't take into account what 2013 market value could be. Players like Swisher are already sensing that his value has increased, since he just declined a qualifying offer from the Yankees to look for a multi-year deal that pays him more than he's being overpaid right now.
Cody Ross has two other things going for him: His swing is made for Fenway and he's more valuable if he plays 81 games a year in the park, and he's a fan favorite who easily handled the pressures of playing in Boston. If the Sox sign an outfielder who hasn't played in a high pressure environment before, there's no telling how he'll react -- but Ross's qualities to handle the pressure and Boston media are proven.
Giving Ross a $25 million, three year contract will look like a fair bet in the 2013 free agent market. The Sox should try offering him such a deal to bring him back.