Rumors flew last summer that the Cubs were discussing a possible trade with the San Diego Padres for righthander Tyson Ross.
That was before Padres GM A.J. Preller decided he was under the delusion that the Padres were still in contention and could catch the Dodgers for first place or get into the wild-card race. Neither was even close -- the Padres finished 18 games out of first place and 23 games behind the wild-card Cubs.
Tyson Ross would certainly have been a better Cubs trade acquisition than Dan Haren, though likely would have cost more in terms of prospects. Would he have made any difference in the postseason? Hard to say, and there are three things about Ross' 2015 stat line that are rather weird. First, he led the major leagues in walks with 84. He also led the National League in wild pitches with 14. These two numbers imply a lack of control and command.
On the other hand, he struck out 212 in 197 innings, a 9.7 K/9 ratio, which was tied for fourth in the league with Jacob deGrom. He also allowed only nine home runs, the fewest for any pitcher who threw at least as many innings as he did (196). Second in this category was Jake Arrieta. (Ross allowed five HR at Petco and four on the road, in case you were wondering.)
So there's clearly talent with Ross. He turns 29 in April and is second-year arb eligible. That puts him in line for a contract of about $10 million for 2016. He's under team control through 2017.
Also, for those of you who like pitchers who can hit, Ross hit .250/.283/.357 in 2015 (14-for-56) with a double, a triple, a home run and six RBI. That actually gave him 0.7 bWAR as a hitter.
Once again, no poll on this article, instead I'd like you to construct what you think would be a realistic deal to acquire Ross, who would certainly look pretty good as the Cubs' No. 3 starter in 2016. I'm also putting all these "trade target" articles in a handy StoryStream so you can refer to all of them from one place.