Padres Editorial: What To Do With Tyson Ross?

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

As we all know, Tyson Ross hit the disabled list after his opening day start with shoulder inflammation. Padres beat writer A.J. Cassavell from mlb.com

(http://m.padres.mlb.com/news/article/176190618/padres-tyson-ross-progressing-in-rehab)  has recently reported that even though Ross moved to the next step in the rehabbing process, he has yet to throw a baseball. To make things worse, there is no timetable for his return.

Welp, so much for a short trip to the DL. Here we are heading into the middle of May and there are no answers regarding his return to the San Diego Padres rotation.

More importantly when discussing whether to keep or trade Tyson, what does this extended stay on the disabled list mean for his future with the Friars? Is the front office able or willing to spend the dough to keep Ross as the franchise’s top pitcher for years to come? Are they kicking themselves for not dealing him before the season when his trade value may have been highest?

Like most of you, I have no frickin’ clue what A.J. Preller is thinking. Nonetheless I did some googling to try to gauge what could happen to our ace. The 2014 All Star has one more year of arbitration after this season and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2018, with the ability to hit the open market where starting pitchers of his caliber get P-A-I-D.

Is the Trade Value there?

Tyson Ross has a ton of value still to this day despite the current injury. He has put up some impressive numbers since coming from Oakland for sunflower seeds and gum in 2012. Through three years he has an outstanding 3.07 ERA, which would suggest a better win/loss record (26-34). But you know, he has been on the Padres. Before the season started, Marc Simon (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/68865/this-could-be-the-year-that-tyson-ross-turns-into-a-legitimate-ace) from ESPN wrote a piece on Tyson Ross and it included an interesting stat. Take it away Marc:

“Last season, the two starting pitchers with the lowest hard-hit rate in baseball were Jake Arrieta and Clayton Kershaw. But you might be hard-pressed to guess who ranked No. 3, as he was the only pitcher in the top 14 with a losing record — San Diego Padres starter Tyson Ross.”

I knew Tyson has some filthy junk in his repertoire, but…

One could argue that Ross’s trade value is diminishing each week he is on the DL, but a deeper look into the market could prove that reasoning to be poor.

Stephen Strasburg was due to be the top free agent starting pitcher after this season, but he was taken off the board after the Nationals inked him to a seven-year, $175 million contract on Monday. The contract that averages out to $25 million a year, is widely regarded as a discount compared to what Strasburg could have received on the open market. Teammate Max Scherzer is averaging $30 million a year when the Nationals signed him away from the Tigers last season to a seven-year/$210 million contract.

Mandatory Credit: AP Photo
Mandatory Credit: AP Photo

Some other starting pitchers to hit the market after this season includes aging veterans like Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, Jake Peavy, and Jorge De La Rosa among others.Younger options include Mat Latos, Jeremy Hellickson, and our own Andrew Cashner. I could keep listing names but the level of intrigue would decline further with each new name mentioned. Translation: a very weak group.

This will leave teams looking to add quality starting pitching to go through the trade route either this deadline or next winter. Since Ross is under team control through 2017, at an extremely affordable rate, he still has great value in the trade market. Ross isn’t on the same level of Strasburg but he sure is a helluva lot better than any of the names above.

It really just becomes a question if A.J. Preller wants to pull the trigger. The biggest return in a Ross trade scenario would no doubt be this summer, since he would have a year and a half left before free agency. Still, if Ross remains a Padre the entire season, he still has plenty of value because of his cheap salary heading into 2017. Any team looking to contend and add an all-star caliber arm could be making calls to the Padres front office.

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Luke Kelley
Born and raised in Chula Vista. Lifelong fan of Padres and SDSU (mens' basketball and football). The former professional football team in San Diego used to be my favorite squad.

My first vivid memories of our beloved teams include witnessing Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott torching teams in the WAC at the Murph, Tony Gwynn sandwiched in the lineup by Gary Sheffield and Fred McGriff.

Check me out on Twitter @Lukelley where there's a link to my podcast: The LK Show.

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