Yankees should trade for starter Tyson Ross as Plan B


Much like last season when the Yankees acquired both Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia before the trade deadline, dealing for a frontline starter shouldn’t rule out someone like Tyson Ross as a means to round out the rotation.

No, the Yankees acquiring Jaime Garcia from the Twins last season didn’t work out. And the jury is still out on Sonny Gray, though he is coming off his best start as a Yankee vs. the Blue Jays.

But GM Brian Cashman knew he needed veteran reinforcements to make a strong playoff run — and it worked to an extent. Fast-forward 11 months and little has changed, only this time we know No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery is done for the season (and then some).

The organization doesn’t seem too worried about Masahiro Tanaka’s dual hamstring strains and expect him to return to action within two-to-four weeks time.

C.C. Sabathia recently won his first game since April 29, and Domingo German may have struck out nine batters in six innings of work against the Mets last week, but he desperately needs to stop allowing first-inning runs.

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Falling behind early puts too much pressure on the offense to score quickly and an onus on himself to settle down as his pitch count rises. Come playoff time, it’s a recipe for a quick exit.

That’s why, even if the Yankees were to acquire a legit top of the rotation arm like Madison Bumgarner, Jacob deGrom or Cole Hamels — also trading for a low-cost yet highly effective option like Tyson Ross would make sense.

Last December, Ross signed a one-year, $1.75 million minor league deal with the Padres, hoping to rediscover some of the qualities that once made him the No. 6 overall prospect with the Oakland A’s in 2010.

This season, the 31-year-old ground ball pitcher is 5-3 with a 3.43 ERA, 1.237 WHIP and 78:28 K:BB ratio in 76 innings. In 11 of his past 13 starts, Ross has allowed three or fewer earned runs. Another plus that Ross brings is his ability to go a full six frames, which he has done nine times this campaign.

Having starters alleviate the workload on the Yankee bullpen will only become more paramount as the summer progresses.

Though he may no longer touch the mid-to-upper-90s with his fastball, Ross is more than capable of keeping hitters off-balance with his go-to 85-mph slider, 91-mph sinker, 89-mph cutter and seldom used 87-mph changeup.

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If Ross can continue to hold the opposition to 3.3 BB/9, 9.2 K/9 and a .166 BAA vs. right-handed hitters, he could be a steal, likely costing nothing more than a mid-level prospect or two, due to his impending free agency.