As we discussed this weekend, the Cubs figure to be involved with free agent righty Tyson Ross up until he signs a contract this offseason. It’s hard to say when that will happen, as Ross is recovering from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome, and it’s not entirely clear when or if he’ll be actively throwing for teams. His recovery timeline has him back in April or so, and, for a variety of reasons the Cubs seem like an excellent fit.
To that end, Bruce Levine adds an interesting wrinkle to the free agent pursuit of a player whom the Cubs had previously sought to add in trade from the Padres: earlier this month, talks between the Cubs and Padres “were ongoing again up until” Ross was non-tendered by the Padres. If Levine is correct, that strongly suggests that the Cubs were willing to bring Ross aboard at his projected arbitration salary, which would have been around $9.6 million, per MLBTR’s model. Beyond that, though, one assumes the Cubs weren’t willing to give the Padres too much (and, if I could completely speculate, I’d also point to the Padres’ recent hiding-medical-information scandal, which undoubtedly made it extra hard to complete a trade for a player recovering from surgery).
So, then, if the Cubs were trying to trade for Ross before he was non-tendered, it seems fairly safe to assume they will be very involved in his free agency, which obviously has already been reported, but this adds another layer of apparent confirmation of interest.
Levine’s full report has additional information, including many quotes from sources about Ross’s high character (always an important consideration for the Cubs’ front office), and also interest from the Rangers. Those Rangers have a serious need for starting pitching and figure to be competitive this season, so they will be able to offer some of the same selling points as the Cubs, for what it’s worth.
It seems likely that many more teams beyond the Cubs and Rangers will be involved, so we’ll have to keep following this one.
If you missed it this weekend, you can read much more on the Cubs and Ross here.