I have been meaning to talk about the idea of trading Tyson Ross for a while now, and the recent post on "The Logical Rangers/Padres Blockbuster" by Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs seems like as good of a jumping off point as any. I can say that first off I have issues with the construction of this trade. The basic premise of the deal mentioned is that Tyson Ross, Derek Norris and the cash to pay their 2016 salaries go to the Rangers and the Padres get back Joey Gallo and second solid prospect. That comes to 4 players switching teams where 2 of them are established major leaguers (one with 2 years left of control and the other with 3) on the Padres side and 2 are prospects (albeit one is very high caliber and just about major league ready) from the Rangers. That doesn't really pass the sniff test of how deals are done and we haven't even talked about the money changing hands.
When I have thought about a potential Tyson Ross trade, I think back to the Cubs trading Jeff Samardzija to the A's. That was a trade deadline deal (which is probably the next time the Padres will entertain trading Ross) where the Cubs traded Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in exchange for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and cash. Samardzija, like Ross, had an additional year of control. That's one more year the acquiring team can either use him to help contend and then possibly get back a 1st round pick via the qualifying offer or, like the A's, could re-trade him. Hammel was a pure rental for the playoff push. Addison Russell was one of the top prospects in baseball at a position with a lot of value: shortstop. Billy McKinney was a much lesser known prospect with speed, defensive ability in CF and a decent bat. Dan Straily was upper minors arm with some MLB experience that had a chance to work out, but didn't. That trade has worked out pretty well for the Cubs since Samardzija got his free agent pay day, Hammel came back to the Cubs in free agency, Russell is now their starting SS and McKinney is still a fine prospect. An outcome like that would be good for the Padres.
The proposed deal by Cameron has some of the makings of a trade like this, but falls short. Ross is like Samardzija. Gallo is somewhat like Russell, but seems to me that Gallo is a riskier proposition. McKinney is the same as the solid prospect. But that's where the similarities end. Norris is under control for 3 years (or 2 years and 2 months at the deadline) whereas Hammel was a 2 month rental. Norris also happens to be what the Rangers really need and yet they would seem to be getting a discount instead of being held to the fire for him. There's nothing similar to Straily in this deal and the Padres would be sending cash (a lot of it actually: $12.56M) to the Rangers whereas the other deal had cash going the other direction.
Where I will agree with Cameron is that maybe there is an opportunity here. The Rangers are likely interested in Norris and top prospects (I mean the cream of the crop) who have already succeeded in the upper minors are hard to come by. Not every team has a Gallo or a Russell, especially one that they feel they can part with. However, the particulars of this deal don't add up for me.