The San Diego Padres have made this year’s crop of free-agent pitchers more intriguing by opting not to give right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross a contract for 2017. 

Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Padres did not tender Ross a contract, and he immediately becomes a free agent. 

Ross only appeared in one game last season, giving up seven earned runs in 5.1 innings before his right shoulder flared up and caused him to miss the rest of the year with inflammation. 

In October, per’s AJ Cassavell, Ross opted to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. It’s the same procedure New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey had in July that ended his 2016 season prematurely. 

Cassavell noted Ross’ recovery timetable is four to six months, which would put him on track to return as soon as February or as late as mid-April. 

Prior to 2016, Ross was one of the best pitchers in the National League the previous three seasons. He posted a 3.07 ERA with 526 strikeouts and 437 hits allowed in 516.2 innings and made a total of 64 starts in 2013-15. 

Per FanGraphs, Ross ranked ninth among all NL starters who had at least 500 innings pitched from 2013-15 with 9.6 wins above replacement. 

Matt Snyder of noted how starkly things changed for Ross and the Padres from 2015 to the point where the former All-Star was not tendered a contract:

This year’s crop of free-agent pitchers is horrendous, with 36-year-old Rich Hill being the top available arm because he can miss bats, despite having no history of staying healthy. 

Ross’ recent track record certainly makes him a cautionary tale for whatever team wants to take a chance on him, but if he returns to anything close to his previous skill level, the 29-year-old will end up being one of the biggest bargains for anyone in search of a starting pitcher. 

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