Tyson Ross struggled with right shoulder issues in 2016, which limited the 29-year-old right-hander to two starts (one in the minors and one in the majors for San Diego).
He underwent thoracic outlet surgery in mid-October, before the Padres non-tendered him in early December, making Ross a free agent. Ross’ younger brother, Joe, who dealt with his own shoulder issues last season (right shoulder inflammation) was asked if he’d lobbied at all for Washington to sign his sibling when he spoke to reporters at the Nats’ Winterfest event on December 10th.
“I’ve been trying,” Ross joked. “I just keep joking, telling everyone he can come over here as long as he doesn’t take my job. I’ve been trying to get him over here. I talked a little bit to Dusty [Baker], we were just joking around yesterday, but wherever he goes, I’m sure he’ll be happy to be there. He’s got some time, but I’m excited to see where he goes.”
While the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers are rumored to be the frontrunners for the righty this winter, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported on Twitter this afternoon that the Nationals have expressed interest in the seven-year veteran though Rosenthal wrote that the Nats are considered a “longshot” to land him:
Sources: #Nationals also want Tyson Ross (Joe’s older brother), but considered “longshot.” #Cubs, #Rangers favorites, as @jeffpassan said.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 5, 2017
Ross put up a 3.26 ERA, a 2.98 FIP, 84 walks (3.86 BB/9) and 212 Ks (9.73 K/9) over 33 starts and 196 innings pitched in a 4.4 fWAR campaign in his last full season on the mound in 2015.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer Jeff Wilson reported earlier this week that Ross met with Texas, though he reported that his source, “said that a deal with the Rangers is not imminent.”
Yahoo!Sports.com’s Jeff Passan wrote on Twitter that Ross met with the Chicago Cubs before traveling to Texas.
How exactly the elder Ross would fit in with the Nationals when he’s ready to pitch is unclear considering that the rotation is likely to include 2016 Cy Young Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark, Joe Ross and Gio Gonzalez.
The Nationals did, however, deal two of their major-league ready arms to Chicago in the Adam Eaton deal, sending Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the White Sox in a three-for-one deal that included 2016 draft pick Dane Dunning.
GM Mike Rizzo told reporters after the Eaton deal that he was comfortable with the starting depth in the organization even after the trade.
“We're fortunate enough, we trade from a position of depth,” Rizzo explained. “We felt we have great depth in our starting pitching. We utilized that to turn a relatively -- a hole in our lineup — and we dealt from strength and depth to correct that and we still like the depth that we have beyond the Major League rotation.
“We still have our rotation intact from last year, we haven't touched that and we still feel that we have a good amount of Major League caliber pitching depth behind it.”
You can never have enough pitching, of course...