The Padres are going to be sellers this year. If this comes as a shock to you, please go back and read up on East Village Times over the past year or so and catch yourself up.
Although this will not be a total fire sale that, say, the Orioles could be in for, the Padres certainly have some pieces that could aid a team in contention.
One of those pieces is Tyson Ross. He has been surprisingly good early on in 2018, which I wrote about a few weeks ago (link to article). He went from being signed to a minor league deal to being the most consistent pitcher in the rotation not named Joey Lucchesi.
In seven starts, he is averaging just about six innings per start with a respectable 3.67 ERA and a solid 3.43 FIP.
All of Ross’ numbers check out as an option to fit in the middle or towards the back of a rotation of a team trying to push for a playoff spot.
One team that is right in the mix and desperately trying to end the longest current playoff drought in major U.S. pro sports (since 2001) is the Seattle Mariners. They are 21-15 and just a game and a half out of a playoff spot. Now that I live up in western Washington and follow the Mariners closely, I feel there would be mutual interest in a deal for Ross. It’s no secret up here that the Mariners need pitching help.
Certainly, the Mariners’ farm system is like a little mole hill compared to the Padres’ raging volcano of hot talent-lava. However, let’s be honest with ourselves, Ross would not merit receiving top prospects in exchange for him heading to the Pacific Northwest.
Ross is 31 and coming off of a significant injury. Even if it’s as cheap as it comes, his contract is only for one year, so he would be a rental for the Mariners. That’s exactly what the Mariners need though, as many suspect if the Mariners fall short this season, they may opt for a full-scale rebuild. It’s looking like this year will be playoffs or bust.
The Padres could benefit from the Mariners’ desperation and walk away with a decent prospect or two. I think we can just extinguish any hope the Mariners would part ways with Kyle Lewis or Evan White. It’s tough to predict what prospects the Padres could acquire, but both teams who share a spring training complex in Peoria could walk away happy.
The biggest chink in Seattle’s armor right now is starting pitching. The Mariners are 24th in the league in starter ERA at 4.87, and it feels like a ticking time bomb before the Mariners start to slide if they do not add rotation depth.
Ross wouldn’t need to be the main guy, as the Mariners have James Paxton, fresh off of a 16-strikeout start and a no-hitter that next outing. Plus, King Felix Hernandez is still going out there every fifth day, and Fallbrook alum Mike Leake is in the rotation as well. Ross would likely be their fourth starter, which would take some pressure off.
We would be sad to see our old friend Ross be shipped out in the middle of his redemption tour, but he also has pitched well enough to be on a contending team and the Padres could benefit from his good start by further stocking the farm system, even if it’s not top-tier talent. Let’s set aside the Vedder Cup rivalry for a moment and see if a deal can be done.