The San Diego Padres and their management have a very important decision to make in the near future. All-star starting pitcher Tyson Ross can be a free agent after the 2017 season and now might be the time to start to talk about an extension with the right-handed pitcher. Ross is making $9.625 million this year after an outstanding 2015 season. A season where Ross was 10-12 for the Padres with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.306 WHIP. Ross also struck out 212 hitters in 196 innings pitched, both new career highs.
He has shown a great deal of growth in his short time as a Padres pitcher. Arriving in San Diego from the Oakland Athletics, in November of 2012, for Andy Parrino and Andrew Werner, Ross had shown flashes of being a decent starting pitcher with the A’s, but has absolutely flourished as a San Diego Padre.
With James Shields locked up for at least the next three seasons, Ross could be the perfect complement to him. At 28, Tyson Ross has plenty of life left in his arm. He has barely pitched 665 innings total in his major league career. Each and every year Ross has improved, and he quite frankly could win a Cy Young Award one day. Perhaps the time to explore locking him up long-term is now. The franchise has quite a few dollars committed to James Shields and Matt Kemp. Every potential penny saved could be beneficial in order to field a competitive team in the long run.
Let us not forget about the Upton issues the Padres have to resolve. Melvin Upton, formally B.J. Upton is due over $31 million for the next two seasons. That horrible contract was the price to pay for the services of Craig Kimbrel.
That is a lot of potential financial commitment for the Padres, perhaps signing Ross to a long-term contract isn’t feasible at the moment. That would all depend on what Tyson Ross and his representatives the Wasserman Media Group deem fair. Ross is making over $9 million this year, however if his numbers remain on their upward trend, he will be in for a big raise in 2017.
Could the Padres buy out his remaining two years of arbitration and say two years of free agency for somewhere around $45-55 million in total? That would be fair to both parties but I can understand the teams hesitancy to give out extensions. The Cory Luebke contract extension given in 2012 proved to be a disaster for the Padres. The $12 million dollar loss for Luebke is a fraction of the cost of a potential extension with Ross, so the Padres are likely to exercise caution.
I am sure that is a topic of consideration for the Padres and A.J. Preller. Extending Ross would be nice, but Andrew Cashner is in the same boat as Ross essentially. Both pitchers are young enough to lock to long-term deals. The Padres will have to decide if they want to sign both pitchers long-term or explore other options. Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner must show the consistency every start that is needed from pitchers of their ilk. They have filthy stuff, and their only enemy is them self. Plenty of pitchers have great stuff, but its the ability to transition your stuff into results which separates the men from the boys.
Signing Tyson Ross to an extension is probably not on the burner right now for the San Diego Padres. The team has more pressing issues, however if the pitcher starts to show his dominance again, it may be wise to consider the option. With another huge year, Ross could boost his value into the $100 million dollar range.
Those type of players you evaluate and make a decision based upon future health and commitment from the individual. Ross has a fluid motion and should be trusted long-term health wise. His character and work ethic is noted in the Padres clubhouse and he is very well-respected among the players. The time is now if the team wants to lock him up long-term. If not then there is the option of dealing him while his value is high. What will A.J. do?