Brewers add another arm in RHP Joe Ross

December 12th, 2023

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers finalized a one-year deal with right-hander on Tuesday following an exhaustive physical exam to test the soundness of his twice-repaired right elbow.

Ross, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and again in June 2022 before returning to pitch in the San Francisco farm system late last season. The Brewers didn’t release any contract terms beyond saying it's a one-year deal with no options; The Athletic reported last week that Ross will earn $1.75 million.

The Brewers view Ross primarily as a candidate for the starting rotation, though he has also pitched out of the bullpen during his career. Acquiring additional innings, period, has been a priority this winter since Brandon Woodruff was lost to a shoulder injury and subsequently non-tendered, so the Brewers re-signed free agents Colin Rea and Wade Miley before reaching a preliminary agreement last week with Ross.

A former first-round pick of the Padres in 2011, Ross was traded to the Nationals in December 2014 and posted a 4.26 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in 98 games (76 starts) over parts of six seasons, including 64 innings in 2019 when Washington was on its way to winning the World Series. He elected not to play during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, then returned in ‘21 and was 5-9 with a 4.17 ERA in 20 games (19 starts), last appearing on Aug. 10 of that season in relief at the Mets.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed Ross’ second elbow reconstruction the following June and he signed a Minor League deal with the Giants for 2023. Ross made it back to the mound on Aug. 8 in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League and advanced to Triple-A Sacramento by year’s end, maxing out at three innings in one of those outings.

Milwaukee’s 40-man roster is at 38 with Ross in the fold.