(CBS) A starting pitcher the Cubs had continued to track and have on their radar is off the market.
Right-hander Tyson Ross has signed a one-year deal with the Rangers, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reported Friday. The 29-year-old Ross missed most of the 2016 season with weakness in his shoulder caused by thoracic outlet syndrome. His October surgery to relieve pressure from the shoulder to the upper arm was deemed successful, and his recovery time is expected to be four to six months.
Looking long term and knowing Ross likely wouldn’t be a big financial burden coming off an injury, the Cubs were interested in his services. The No. 5 spot in their rotation is open after the Cubs let Jason Hammel go in free agency, choosing not to pick up his option. Ross would’ve been in the mix for the No. 5 spot. At this point, left-hander Mike Montgomery has the inside track to be the fifth starter.
Looking further ahead, current Cubs rotation members Jake Arrieta and John Lackey are set to be free agents after the 2017 season.
Ross was at the top of his game in 2014 and 2015, over which he had a 3.00 ERA in 64 starts. Ross reached the 195-inning threshold each season and averaged 203 strikeouts.
The San Diego Padres non-tendered Ross on Dec. 1, as they felt releasing him was more prudent than paying him $10 million for 2017. That’s around the salary Ross would’ve garnered through the arbitration system, whether he was healthy or not.