January 6, 2017
Dinged Up and Dingers
Teams are showing interest in Ross
Tyson Ross missed nearly the entire 2016 season due to injury and was released by the Padres last month, but that hasn’t kept teams from pursuing him as a free agent. There are reports that the Nationals, Mariners, Pirates, Twins, and Giants have shown varying degrees of interest in the 30-year-old right-hander, and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted out that the Cubs and Rangers are currently the favorites to sign him.
Rumors have Ross seeking at least $10 million for 2016. Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that the Cubs already have a very interesting potential backup plan if they don’t pick up Ross: a potential six-man rotation. They could still go down that route with Ross, but they don’t appear to be the clear-cut favorites here. That leaves the Rangers, who appear to be the team that’s most aggressive.
It makes sense that the Rangers would go after Ross, especially when you look at the back-end of their rotation. If Ross can return to form—he finished 2015 with a DRA of 3.04 and a cFIP of 82—then he’d give the Rangers a healthy boost. There’s still plenty of risk involved—he probably won’t be ready to start the upcoming season and may not be the same upon returning—but he's an intriguing one-year flier.
White Sox hold firm on Quintana
While there are questions as to whether Ross will be able to help teams this year, Jose Quintana can reliably be counted on for a huge 2016 boost. The White Sox are still shopping the Colombian lefty, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports indicating that the Astros and Pirates are currently in the mix. There are also reports that the Yankees are involved.
One thing is clear—the White Sox know exactly what they want for Quintana and they have good reason to be emboldened in holding firm. They got a very nice haul for Adam Eaton and also got a solid return for Chris Sale, so it’s definitely reasonable for Chicago to expect to receive a similarly strong return for a pitcher of Quintana’s caliber. He’s coming off a season in which he had a DRA of 3.48 and a cFIP of 91, and he’s also signed to a very team-friendly deal.
A’s turning to Trumbo
The A’s made a surprisingly strong run at signing Edwin Encarnacion before ultimately falling short. They’ve now turned their attention to another right-handed power hitter, with Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reporting that Oakland could be trying to sign Mark Trumbo. If all the A’s want is power in their quest to make up for missing out on Encarnacion, then Trumbo’s definitely the right person to turn to. Aside from his slugging, his slash line from last season (.256/.316/.533) isn’t all that impressive, but he did finish the year with a .277 ISO and 47 home runs.
Now, there would be a small bit of a concern when you consider that Trumbo would be leaving Camden Yards’ homer factor of 104 for righties in exchange for Oakland’s homer factor of 88 However, there shouldn’t be too much of a worry—Trumbo’s proven over his career that his power plays anywhere. Oakland (or any other team that’s pursuing Trumbo) won’t be getting the overall production that Encarnacion figures to provide Cleveland, but they would be getting the dingers, so there’s that.