Cubs reportedly seem the most interested in Tyson Ross
The Cubs pursuit of free agent right-hander Tyson Ross continued to make news over the weekend. Ross was in Chicago last week, according to Bruce Levine, talking to the Cubs and taking the free agent tour. The Cubs were immediately linked to Ross as soon as the Padres non-tendered earlier this month. Based on the reports, the Cubs have strong interest in signing Tyson Ross.
Nick Cafardo reported Saturday (for his Sunday Notes Column) that “teams are evaluating how much of a health risk” Ross actually is as he works to comeback from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Ross had the surgery in October that has a four- to six-month recovery time. If everything goes Ross’ way during his rehab, the earliest he would be able to pitch again would be February. Most think a realistic timeframe would be April, which would put Ross in line to join a rotation in late-May, early-June.
The Cubs “seem the most interested” in Ross, according to Cafardo, with teams like the Rangers, Pirates, and Marlins possibly in the mix. The Diamondbacks could be in on Ross as well and the Padres “could jump back in the hunt.” Bruce Levine reported that the Rangers, Pirates and Padres, along with two or three other teams are also in on the bidding for Ross.
The Cubs are weighing what type of offer to make Ross. Reports have suggested he is not looking for more than a one-year contract, which is unrealistic at this point. Teams simply do not know how much he will be able to pitch next season. The Cubs could be talking to Ross about a two-year contract with an option for a third year that is loaded with incentives. The Cubs are not interested in Ross on a one-year deal. It would take at least a two-year commitment from Ross to sign with the Cubs.
Ross was really good before what was first thought to be a shoulder injury derailed his career. And his home-road splits in 2014 and 2015 point to a pitcher that could have success outside of PETCO Park. Ross was actually slightly better on the road (6-3, 2.83 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) in 2015 than in his home park (4-9, 3.70 ERA, 1.24 WHIP). But the uncertainty of returning to the pitcher he was prior to the surgery has put his career in doubt.
The Cubs would seem to be the team that could give Ross the time he needs to get on the mound without rushing him … and in turn, Tyson Ross could get his career back on track.