Washington Nationals Free Agent Profile: Tyson Ross
By Ricky Keeler
Would it be a good idea for the Washington Nationals to bring the Ross brothers together in D.C.?
On Friday night, the Washington Nationals made the decision to non-tender Ben Revere, thus making him a free agent. That move didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but one team made a move that was somewhat of a surprise.
Before the 8 p.m. ET deadline Friday night, the San Diego Padres chose to non-tender right-handed starting pitcher Tyson Ross. Ross, who is the older brother of Washington Nationals pitcher Joe Ross, only started on Opening Day this past season. He missed the rest of the year due to thoracic outlet syndrome and he underwent surgery on his right arm back in October.
Ross was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the second round back in 2008. After making 53 appearances with the A’s in his first three seasons (2010-2012), Ross was traded to the San Diego Padres on November 16, 2012.
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While the 29-year-old right-hander (turns 30 in April) only had a 26-35 record in his four seasons in San Diego, he did have an ERA of 3.16 and made one All-Star team (2014). In that season, he had a 2.81 ERA and struck out 195 batters in 195.2 innings.
In the following season, Ross increased the strikeout total to 212, which was the sixth most of any pitcher in the National League. Tyson Ross can put up high strikeout totals, but he does put runners on base frequently via the walk. From 2014-2015, he had 156 walks and led the league in walks in 2015 (84).
Another concern about Ross is the decreasing velocity on his fastball. According to Fangraphs, his average velocity on his fastball went from 94.2 miles per hour with the Padres in 2013 to 92.4 in the one game he started this past season.
Now, the Washington Nationals do have one of the best rotations in the baseball, even if they don’t trade for Chris Sale. However, one of the things the organization lacked last year was veteran depth in the rotation.
The Nats did sign Bronson Arroyo to a minor league deal last winter, but Arroyo never made a start with the Washington Nationals. During the season, they picked up Mat Latos, who made six appearances and one start (got injured during his lone start).
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If the medicals are good involving Ross’ shoulder, he is going to be a pitcher that a lot of teams will be interested in as the starting pitching market is weak in free agency. While Ross’ career ERA on the road (4.19) is way higher than at PETCO Park (3.05), he is a pitcher that if the Washington Nationals can sign to a one-year deal, would be a good low-risk, high reward deal to bring more depth.