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Pirates touch base with free agent Tyson Ross

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Milwaukee Brewers v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The Pirates have reached out to free agent righty Tyson Ross, Bill Brink writes. Ross barely pitched in 2016 and had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome that could delay the start of his season, so the Padres non-tendered Ross last week rather than paying him a projected $9.6 million.

Still, Ross might not be cheap, so there’s reason to doubt the Pirates will be able to afford him. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets that Ross wants $9 million to $11 million, a very steep price for a pitcher with so many health uncertainties.

I’m all for the Pirates getting Ross, and for spending more money, but even I’m not totally sure an $11 million one-year deal for Ross would be sensible. (If you’re going to spend money on a pitcher with questionable health, spend it on a multi-year deal.) Still, he’s worth keeping in mind, because he had considerable success with the Padres from 2013-2015, and because he has good velocity and a great ground-ball rate. He seems like the sort of pitcher the Pirates can help, even as they say they’ve struggled to find reclamation projects this year.