Earlier today, Michael noted a report in the Lukewarm Stove that had the Chicago Cubs seeming the “most interested” team in free agent righty Tyson Ross, who is recovering after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. That made sense given this weekend’s report that the Cubs brought Ross in to Chicago to show him around Wrigley Field’s facilities, as well as tour the city.

Clearly, the Cubs are interested in Ross, and the fit for both sides is obvious.

But, see, the thing about formerly-excellent starting pitchers who are recovering from surgery and thus might be had on a very low-risk, high-reward contract in a market starved for free agent pitching? Those guys are a fit for other teams, too. Lots of teams. Maybe, like, a majority of the teams:

The Cubs are listed among the named suitors, which is typically noteworthy in these situations. But the fact that “20 or so teams” are interested is not something you usually see riding along in tandem. To me, that suggests not necessarily that 20 MLB teams are going to be involved seriously and bidding right up to the end, but it instead suggests that we’re still very early in this process. Given that Ross’s recovery timeline might not have him pitching competitively until April, it’s always been possible this could be the kind of free agency process that extends into Spring Training, perhaps even until Ross throws for teams. If he feels like his rehab is going well, he may prefer to go that route so that he can show teams what he looks like; if Ross instead feels like being a bit more conservative, he could sign sooner.

We know that the Cubs are interested, and Bruce Levine reported that they prefer a multi-year deal (two years or two years and an option), which may not be the kind of contract Ross wants to sign too quickly. If he keeps enough teams interested and shows that he’s healthy, he might prefer to take the largest one-year guarantee he can get, and bet on himself from there.

With so many teams potentially involved at this point, all we can do is keep following along. The Cubs will continue to search for depth and a cost-controlled starter in the meantime. For more on how Ross makes sense for the Cubs, read here.

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