The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to search for starting pitching help this offseason. And their search has led to them being in contact with new free agent Tyson Ross.
In what was a surprising move the San Diego Padres non-tendered Tyson Ross earlier this week. The right-handed starting pitcher is coming off a season in which he made just one start due to a shoulder injury. However, him being non-tendered was still a surprise.
Tyson Ross is just 29-years old. Additionally, prior to last year, he had always been an above league average starting pitcher. For these reasons, it was surprising when the Padres non-tendered him.
The day after Tyson Ross was non-tendered I said the Pittsburgh Pirates should pursue him. Now it appears that they are indeed pursuing Ross. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bill Brink, the Pirates have checked in on Ross.
It has also been reported that the Texas Rangers have checked in on Ross as well. Not surprisingly, there appears to be a market for the right-handed starting pitcher. Despite the shoulder injury, Ross should be ready for Opening Day. And, if not, he will be ready in early-to-mid April.
Despite his injury wrecked 2016 season, Tyson Ross has some promising Steamer Projections for 2017. They project Ross to average 8.52 K/9, 3.46 BB/9, 0.76 HR/9, and to have a 54.4 percent ground ball rate. Furthermore, he is projected to have a 3.63 ERA, 3.64 FIP, and a 2.7 WAR in 2017.
Tyson Ross has a lot of tools that would make Ray Searage salivate. He has always been both a big strikeout (career 8.49 K/9) and ground ball (career 56.0 percent ground ball rate) in his career. Furthermore, in 670 2/3 career innings pitched he has allowed just 42 home runs which comes out to 0.56 HR/9.
I would love for the Pittsburgh Pirates to sign Tyson Ross. In my opinion, he would be a great number three starting pitcher behind Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon. Hopefully, the Bucs and Ross can come to a deal.