Aug 3, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcherTyson Ross
(38) pitches during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
This part of the plan is the one that has given me fits. First, I was firmly in the “trade Mookie” camp. There was no place for him, and no guarantee he would sustain his performance. Then I watched him play, and it became clear how much he could contribute and I had second thoughts. But ultimately, this team needs to acquire two front line starting pitchers to compete next year. Now, perhaps some of you would prefer to forgo Sandoval and gamble on Ervin Santana or Francisco Liriano instead. But Rob Bradford’s report would seem to take credence away from this possibility, as the team only wants to sign one starter.
As far as Tyson Ross goes, I have few doubts. A 3.17 ERA last year and 2.81 ERA this year speak on their own. He is only just beginning arbitration eligibility next year and is signed through his prime years (till 2018). The one caveat with Ross is that he is in San Diego, a pitcher’s park, coming to Fenway, a hitter’s park. But former Padre Mat Latos (another viable trade target), has done quite well in Cincinnati and I believe Ross can make the transition too, especially as a number two starter. And start the conversation with Manuel Margot and not Mookie Betts, but it took one of our best hitting prospects and one of our best pitching prospects to pry the last star from the Padres, and I am concerned we may see a similar price tag.
There is one overarching flaw I must acknowledge in my plan; I am assembling a rotation that is entirely right-handed. This may be a deal breaker for the team, and thus perhaps Cole Hamels is the better option. But to make the money work, we would probably be unable to sign Sandoval or would need Philly to take on money. Backup Plan: Trade a package including Mookie Betts and maybe Henry Owens for Cole Hamels.