10:49am: An unknown team has claimed Padres right-hander Tyson Ross on revocable trade waivers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The Padres have 48.5 hours from the time of the claim to trade Ross to the unidentified team, pull him off waivers or allow him to go to the claiming club for no compensation.
As the rules dictate, Ross first would have had to go through waivers in the Padres’ league, the NL. Given Ross’ affordability (he has approximately $500K left on his $1.75MM salary), it seems unlikely that the 31-year-old would have gotten past every other NL club without being claimed.
With the rebuilding Padres not in contention for a playoff spot, Ross looked like a strong candidate to end up on the move prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He stayed put, though, perhaps because of a rough July in which he logged an 8.87 ERA with matching strikeout and walk rates of 5.79 per nine across 23 1/3 innings.
On the whole, Ross has offered passable production this year, having pitched to a 4.45 ERA/4.55 FIP with 7.81 K/9, 3.79 BB/9 and a 43.8 percent groundball rate over 123 1/3 frames. Given the serious arm troubles the former front-line starter dealt with in recent years, his performance this season has been more impressive than it looks on paper.
Although Ross has functioned solely as a starter through 22 appearances this year, it’s possible a playoff-contending claiming team would have interest in deploying him out of its bullpen. He does have prior experience as a reliever, after all, and may be better equipped to function in that role down the stretch. Ross has declined substantially this year when going through teams’ batting orders multiple times. His ERA jumps from 2.59 the initial time through to 4.47 on the second and a whopping 7.62 on the third. Ross has also held opposing lineups to a paltry .170/.284/.308 line when facing them for the first time.
Of course, before figuring out whether Ross will finish the season as a starter or reliever, we’ll have to see which uniform he puts on the next time he takes the hill. In what may go down as his final outing as a Padre, Ross threw five innings of three-run ball in a loss to the Cubs on Friday.