With the Yankees reportedly asking for Joe Ross, the Washington Nationals should not give him up if its only for a rental in Aroldis Chapman
The trade deadline rumors continue to heat up and the Washington Nationals remain one of the teams interested in New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. Today, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported that the Yankees have asked the Nats for starting pitcher Joe Ross, who is currently out with a shoulder injury. Here is what Heyman wrote this morning:
"“One person connected to the talks suggested the Yankees have an interest in young starter Joe Ross. It isn’t known if Ross is currently involved in talks, but Washington is disinclined to deal him for a rental.”"
Remember, Chapman will be a free agent at the end of the year. As Heyman said, it’s unclear if Ross is being discussed. However there is no way that Mike Rizzo should trade Ross, who remains a key to the Nats success this season
Even though Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez have made their debuts this season, none of them have made it through five innings in any start they have made at the big league level. This season, Ross has thrown 95.1 innings and pitched six or more innings in six of his last eight starts before going down with the shoulder inflammation.
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If Ross were to go to the Yankees, he would be New York’s number two or three starter and be would be under their team control until 2022. Yes, Ross isn’t a homegrown prospect (acquired with Trea Turner in a trade with the Padres in 2014), but he is still one of the keys to this rotation going forward.
Now, if the discussions surrounding Ross were for Andrew Miller, who still has two more years on his contract after this year, then I would be fine with Ross being a piece in that deal because Miller would be the closer for the foreseeable future. But, it doesn’t sound like Miller is going anywhere after what Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network tweeted last night:
Today, Ross appeared in his first rehab game for low-A Hagerstown. He went three innings, gave up two hits, and struck out three on 43 pitches (29 strikes).
While the Washington Nationals do need to add another reliever and Chapman would be the dominant closer that they need, the Nats don’t need to drastically overpay, which is what they would be doing if they dealt Ross. Plus, as Heyman tweeted today, there are other options they can go after:
In the end, the Washington Nationals need to focus on trying to put together the best team to try to win a World Series in 2016. But, at the same time, they can’t afford to give up Ross for a closer that will be gone at the end of the season, regardless of how dominant he has been.