As the annual MLB Winter Meetings get underway, many expected the Tigers to be restrained in any moves they made. But on the very first day of the event, the Tigers announced they have signed right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross to a one-year deal worth $5.75 million, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Tyson Ross has roster bonuses that should be easy to reach and would boost his salary with the Tigers to $6 million, source tells Yahoo Sports.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 10, 2018
Ross, a 31-year-old free agent, most recently played with the St. Louis Cardinals, but has spent time with the Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers. In his 2018 season, between the Padres and Cardinals, he had a decent 4.15 ERA, 4.39 FIP, and 1.296 WHIP. Combining Ross with the newly acquired Matt Moore gives the Tiger some nice new depth in their starting rotation, and also gives the Tigers some flexibility to use Moore in the bullpen if need be.
Ross leans heavily on his fastball, which has seen a drop in average velocity over the past two seasons, remaining around about 91 mph. He saw a large increase in his high-80s cutter usage last season, jumping from about nine percent to fifteen. It’s a pitch he only started to use in 2015 when he stopped used his changeup, so it will be interesting to see if the Tigers continue to develop this pitch with him. He also features a slider which saw an increase in use last season and sits in the mid-80s.
Tyson Ross was a 2014 All-Star, and is an interesting signing overall for the Tigers. He could be a bounceback candidate that might garner trade deadline interest, much like Mike Fiers did last season. This certainly creates more excitement going into the rest of the meetings to see what this means for the team’s vision in 2019.