Earlier in the winter, the San Diego Padres opted against tendering a contract to right-handed starter Tyson Ross. The move came as a surprise. Though Ross had missed almost all of 2016 following surgery to repair his thoracic outlet syndrome, he'd previously established himself as an above-average quantity.
More than a month later, Ross could be nearing an agreement with a new team -- the Texas Rangers, according to Evan Grant:
Reported at winter meetings Rangers were investigating Tyson Ross. His price has dropped. Talks advancing.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) January 4, 2017
Ross started 64 games during the 2014-15 seasons, compiling a 117 ERA+ and 2.61 strikeout-to-walk ratio behind his fastball-slider combination. There's no telling how he'll return from a missed year -- pitchers have a mixed track record when it comes to recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome -- but this much is clear: he makes sense as an upside play for Texas.
Though the Rangers signed Andrew Cashner earlier in the offseason, their rotation remains messy behind Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels. A healthy Ross could, in theory, slot in nicely as the third starter. The downside is that if Ross fails to return to form -- or if he misses additional time -- then the Rangers are stuck with a rotation that includes Martin Perez, A.J. Griffin, and one of Nick Martinez or Tyler Wagner.
Still, given Ross' upside, the risk is seemingly worth the reward. We'll see if the Rangers can get a deal done -- and we'll see just what kind of financial risk they're taking in the process.