As much as the defending champs need immediate insurance for the rotation – and long-term pitching solutions – Tyson Ross won't be this year's Cubs Convention surprise.
The Cubs don't need gimmicks or distractions anymore – like a new mascot or Wrigley Field renderings – when they have the World Series trophy at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
The Cubs made it a difficult decision for Ross but ultimately finished second to the Texas Rangers, sources said Friday, offering a similar one-year, $6 million structure plus bonuses. But the Cubs couldn't match the proximity and access to TMI Sports Medicine, a well-regarded facility in Arlington, as Ross recovers from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome.
"We go after lots of players,” team president Theo Epstein said. "But I think he made a decision that he sees in his best interest to come back from his injury and put himself in a position to pitch again. We wish him well."
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Ross – who hasn’t pitched since making a 2016 Opening Day start for the San Diego Padres – methodically sorted through his options after getting non-tendered in early December. It would have been a gamble, but after playing through October and into early November, the Cubs saw Ross as a potential sixth starter, someone with top-of-the-rotation stuff when healthy.
"We were 1-for-2 on Rosses today," Epstein said, referring to hiring David "Grandpa Rossy" as a special assistant to baseball operations.