Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the Padres have signed free agent right-hander Tyson Ross to a minor-league deal. The deal has yet to be officially confirmed by the club.
Ross, 30, completed a one-year stint with the Rangers prior to his release in September. The righty labored through 10 starts and two relief appearances, earning a 3-3 record and a cumulative 7.71 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 6.6 SO/9 through 49 innings. His struggles on the mound were compounded by injuries, including a 78-day stay on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation and nearly three weeks lost to a blister on his right index finger.
Cotillo speculates that Ross could pick up where he left off with the Padres in 2016 and compete for a rotation spot in the spring. While Ross’s 2016 run fizzled out in April after he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, he’s spent some of the most valuable seasons of his career in San Diego, earning his first All-Star nomination in 2014 and producing a career-best 4.3 fWAR in 2015. Assuming he gets the chance to stage a comeback in 2018, he’ll join a rotation that currently features right-handers Luis Perdomo, Dinelson Lamet and Colin Rea and left-handers Clayton Richard and Robbie Erlin.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.