This offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to improve their starting rotation via the trade market. One pitcher they should inquire about is Tyson Ross.
There is no debating about what the Pirates’ biggest need is this offseason. The team’s biggest need is starting pitching. Most likely, Neal Huntington will look to improve the starting rotation via the trade market.
So far, Nick and I have taken a look at a pair of possible trade targets. Those two starting pitchers were Gio Gonzalez and Drew Smyly. While Gonzalez and Smyly are both left-handed pitchers, today I am going to take a look at a right-handed pitcher. And that right-handed pitcher is San Diego Padres’ 29-year old starting pitcher Tyson Ross.
Tyson Ross has pitched in the Major Leagues since 2010. He has split this time between the Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres. During his time in San Diego, Ross was beginning to become one of the best up-and-coming starting pitchers in the National League.
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From 2013 through 2015 Ross pitched 516 2/3 innings for the Padres in 80 starts. He averaged 9.16 K/9, 3.48 BB/9, 0.52 HR/9, he held opposing hitters to a .228 batting average against, and his WHIP was 1.23. He owned a 3.07 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 3.20 xFIP, and his WAR was a combined 9.5.
During this stretch Tyson Ross twice pitched over 190 innings. This came when he pitched 195 2/3 innings in 2014, and then a career high 196 in 2015. Additionally, during this stretch his ground ball rate was a fantastic 58.2 percent. This ground ball rate indicates he would fit the Pirates’ ground ball philosophy.
Tyson Ross made his first start of the 2016 season on April 4th. Unfortunately for Ross and the Padres, he lasted just 5 1/3 innings before being removed from the game. This was due to an elbow injury that required surgery. However, Ross is expected to be ready for Opening Day this upcoming spring.
It is very reasonable to think that Tyson Ross could be available this offseason. The San Diego Padres are in full fledged rebuilding mode. Due to this, by the time the Padres are ready to compete again Ross will be gone regardless.
Ross is slated to become a free agent after the 2018 season. So, the Pirates would get two years of control with the right-handed pitcher. A starting rotation built around Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Tyson Ross the next two years could be one of the best in the National League.
Furthermore, Tyson Ross would not cost as much via trade as he would have last year at this time. He is a year closer to free agency, as well as coming off of surgery. For these two reasons the asking price for Ross would, most likely, be high but reasonable.
The Pittsburgh Pirates need to upgrade their starting rotation this offseason. The best way to do this will be via trade. One of the pitchers they need to target on the trade market is Tyson Ross.