Cubs, Rangers, Indians, Padres and Pirates are reportedly among at least 20 teams interested in RHP Tyson Ross
The Cubs had Tyson Ross in Chicago last week for a free agent visit as the front office continues its pursuit of the right-hander. The Cubs are believed to have shown the most interest of any team in Ross this off-season but he is garnering a lot of attention according to Jon Heyman.
The Cubs are one of at least 20 teams in the mix for Ross. Heyman reported the Rangers, Indians, Padres and Pirates are also interested. Nick Cafardo reported over the weekend that the Marlins and Diamondbacks were two teams that were likely in on Ross as well.
Ross is recovering from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in October. With a recovery of four to six months, Ross could be ready to pitch as early as February when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. If Ross takes the full six months that would put him back on a mound in April which would mean a late-May or early-June timeframe before he is ready to join a big league rotation.
A report from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News indicated Ross was looking to sign a one-year deal in the $9-11 million range. The Cubs would not be interested in Ross on one-year contract according to Bruce Levine.
The Cubs are weighing what type of offer to make to Ross. According to Levine, the Cubs would like at least two years of control. In other words, the Cubs would like to sign him for at least two years and would prefer a two-year contract that includes a club option for a third year. A low base salary, especially for the first year, with a performance-based incentives package would be the route the Cubs would prefer in a deal for Ross.
The front office has been trying to acquire Ross for at least 18 months. The Cubs and Padres discussed deals for Ross right up to the time A.J. Preller decided not to offer a contract to him for next season.
As the 40-man roster is currently constructed, the Cubs will begin Spring Training with a starting rotation of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey and Mike Montgomery. Rob Zastryzny, Jake Buchanan and Aaron Brooks should be among the pitchers in Iowa’s rotation when the season starts.
If Tyson Ross is able to comeback from the thoracic outlet surgery, the Cubs would seem to offer the best place for him to succeed and get his career back on-track. Unless there are significant injuries in the spring, the Cubs will not have to depend on Ross when the season begins. Not many teams can offer him what the Cubs can.