Feb. 19: A source tells MLBTR that there is no current agreement between the Reds and Ross. While the two sides have talked, Ross is continuing to throw for other clubs as he seeks a landing spot for the 2019 campaign.
Feb. 16: The Reds have reportedly signed reliever Robbie Ross to a minor league deal.
Ross, 29, held down a regular spot in the Ranger and Red Sox bullpens from 2012-16, but has missed much of the last two seasons with elbow and back problems. In 2016, his last full season of work, Ross turned in an excellent 3.25 ERA/3.27 FIP (0.7 fWAR) on the back of career-best (9.11 K/9, 0.33 HR/9) peripherals. The lefty’s slider, always a cut above, checked in as the 9th best version of the pitch among all qualified relievers that year, per FanGraphs.
Though his bat-missing acumen against opposite-side hitters has largely prevented a breakaway from the journeyman pack, Ross still sports a respectable .319 career wOBA against vs. righties, and shouldn’t be confined to a specialist-only role. The veteran will hope to regain the 2.4 MPH he lost (down to a career-low 91.8 average MPH) on his fastball after injuries took hold.
Ross will look to join an in-flux Reds bullpen spearheaded by a dominant Raisel Iglesias and otherwise peppered with mostly-fungible names. Zach Duke and Amir Garrett carry the unit’s southpaw flag at current, though a pain-free Ross may well squeeze himself in.