2) Tyson Ross – San Diego Padres
Ross currently resides on the Padres disabled list, and reports from mid-May indicate he could be shut down until the All-Star break or even the whole season. However on June 1, Ross played catch for the first time since hitting the disabled list in April.
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The Padres still don’t expect him to return until after the All-Star break, by which time the Padres are likely to have fallen out of the race and shifted to full sell mode.
The 29-year-old Ross would be one of the better prizes available at the trade deadline, since he’s eaten more than 195.0 innings each of the last two seasons with an outstanding 3.03 ERA and a 9.4 K/9. That’s good even for the National League, and translates to a 116 ERA+ (16% above a league average pitcher).
Ross would be a shot in the arm for the KC Royals rotation and might be their ace, presuming he returns at full strength. I suspect that Ross would make a couple of “show me” starts before the Padres put him on the trading block, so the Kansas City Royals would at least have the assurance that his velocity is still in line with his recent past.
Tyson Ross is signed to a one-year, $9.6 million deal for this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free-agent before the 2018 season. Thus, Ross would remain under team control through KC’s 2017 playoff window yet not have so many years before free-agency that his price would be outrageous.
Ross would be an excellent acquisition at the trade deadline, if he’s up to snuff.
Next: The Surprise Ace