With only hours to go until the trade deadline we have yet to see much activity from the Boston Red Sox, but that doesn’t mean that general manager Ben Cherington isn’t actively working the phones looking to make a last minute deal.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Friday morning that the Red Sox have interest in San Diego Padres starter Tyson Ross. While it remains unclear how close they may be to a deal, sources have revealed to Crasnick that Boston may be quietly looking to swoop in and make a deal prior to the 4 PM deadline this afternoon.
Ross’s name has been thrown around as a popular trade target, with the Padres expected to be shopping players at the deadline. San Diego was among the most active teams in free agency last winter, but a disappointing season seems to be leading toward them hitting the reset button.
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While the Red Sox are far from contending this season, they have shown interest in acquiring pitching that they can control beyond this season. The 28-year old Ross isn’t arbitration eligible yet and won’t hit free agency until after the 2017 season, so he fits the mold of the type of pitcher Boston is targeting.
Ross has posted a 3.07 ERA, 9.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 over the past three seasons with the Padres. He also has a ground-ball rate near 60 percent during that time frame, which fits the profile of the pitchers Boston targeted last winter.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports chimed in to follow up on this report, suggesting that the Red Sox have the prospect depth to expand the deal to include closer Craig Kimbrel.
Kimbrel has been one of the game’s top closers over the past five years, but the Padres seem eager to move him since they don’t have a need for an expensive reliever if they intend to rebuild again. He is owed a total of $24 million through 2017, with a $13 million team option for 2018. The 27-year old could be the long-term replacement for the 40-year old Koji Uehara and provide them with insurance to protect against their aging closer breaking down.
In the meantime, Boston could enter 2016 with one of the more formidable late inning duos in the league. With the way the game is trending, with teams like the Royals and Yankees allowing their lights out bullpens to dominate the last few innings of every game, you can never have too many elite relievers.
The Yankees have also been rumored to be in the hunt for Kimbrel, so acquiring him as part of a package with Ross would serve the duel purpose of keeping him away from their division rival.