Chicago Cubs Rumors: Padres’ Tyson Ross an economic alternative at the deadline


Less sexy than Hamels, Ross offers Cubs a more economical solution

After the Chicago Cubs were no-hit by the Philadelphia Phillies Cole Hamels–and one of their top trade targets–Cubs’ Nation was begging for the team to make the trade. If it was an audition, it certainly couldn’t have gone any better. But after being swept this week by the Phillies, looking at a more economic alternative to add to the staff might better suit the team. Our Jacob Misener looked at some potential trade targets recently, and Tyson Ross of the Padres was on that list.

Ross was an All-Star for the first time in his career last season on a Padres team that struggled. He posted a 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA while throwing two complete games. In 31 starts, he pitched 195 2/3 innings, falling just short of the 200 inning mark. When new GM A.J. Preller loaded up this Padres roster in the offseason, he was looking to change the culture in San Diego. While not a complete debacle, things haven’t gone the way they’d hoped with all the acquisitions–and now may be looking to unload some of these pieces to help build back the farm system.

At 6-8, his record isn’t going to impress many–but a quick look at his recent splits show he may be hitting his stride at the right time. His 3.45 ERA stems from a rough start to the season where he posted a 1-2 record with a 4.55 ERA in March/ April. He allowed three home runs in five starts over that stretch. Since then he hasn’t allowed a single home run, which has helped to offset his walk totals which are up this season.

Last season, in 31 starts Ross walked 72 batters. This season through 21 he’s already at 57. His FIP Fielding independent pitching) is actually at a career low at 2.75. And it’s not simply because of Petco Park. Ross has been good away from home as well, even better than at home. While Petco is a pitcher-friendly park, Ross carries a 2.69 ERA in 12 games away from San Diego as compared to a 4.47 ERA in nine games at home.

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While Ross wouldn’t feel like much of a consolation prize to fans if the Cubs don’t get Hamels or one of the other big-name targets–he would by all means improve the pitching staff. He’s not an ace guy but more like a No. 3 or No. 4, slotting in behind Jason Hammel. He’s not a free agent till 2018, and arbitration eligible in 2016.

At 28, Ross could just now be coming into his prime and would give the Cubs another solid starter without having to give up the type of package that the Phillies want for Hamels. Acquiring a guy that won’t deplete top prospects will also allow the Cubs to pursue a position player as well without feeling they’re selling out for this season.

With five more days left till the deadline, it’s anybody’s guess as to what the Cubs might do. But I would be severely disappointed if they didn’t make any moves at all–even if they aren’t the blockbusters we had sort of hoped to see to put us over the top.

Next: An open letter to the Cubs brass