The Padres have a valuable commodity in starting pitcher Tyson Ross. This much they know. He has pitched over 195 innings the last two seasons despite concerns about injury prone. He is under thirty years old. Better yet he is still under team control until 2018, though with his performance he will be getting significant bumps via the arbitration process. The question for the Padres is to build around him or trade him.
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In article for ESPN.com, David Schoenfield lists Ross as one of his 10 players that should be traded before the start of the 2016 season. His rationale is pretty clear, and at this point in the offseason non-debatable. Are the Padres trying to win now, or rebuilding for future contention?
It’s still unclear what the Padres are doing this offseason. Right now, they’re caught in no-man’s land, unlikely to be a playoff team but not bad enough to tank and get a top-five pick. If they decide to regroup and look past 2016, trading Ross is a good idea since he’s two seasons from free agency.
Ross was acquired from the Oakland Athletics back before the start of the 2013 season. He had started 13 games for the A’s in 2012 and proceeded to throw to a 2-11 record and ERA over 6. His first year with the club in 2013 he appeared in 35 total games, starting 16 and showed growth as a pitcher as he finished the year strong.
2014 was his best year to date, making the All Star Game and finishing with a 2.81 ERA. He also pitched 2 complete games including a memorable complete game 1 hit shutout along the way.
2015 wasn’t as good, as walks plagued him. Yet, he still only allowed 9 home runs on the season and 3 of those were in one game late in the year. The Padres could trade him to a team that just needs a quality #2 or #3 starter and have him for two years of team control. The longer General Manager A.J. Preller waits to trade him the less they can expect to get – unless he is just dominant to start the season which could drastically increase his value. That seems like a gamble the Padres can’t afford to take. Remember when they tried that with Chase Headley? (No knock on Yangervis Solarte who has turned out nicely, but I still think the Padres could’ve gotten more if they had traded Headley sooner).
So MLB is watching. The Giants have gone big in free agency with Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto and the Diamondbacks in Zack Greinke. Could the Dodgers be a fit for Ross and more in exchange for Corey Seager? With still three months until Spring Training opens, keeping on eye on where Tyson Ross ends up could be one of the most important trends for the Padres future.