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.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.