The Los Angeles Dodgers traded right-handed Ross Stripling for the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday to name two players. This was their only move on a quiet deadline for the Major League leaders.
Stripling took a 3-1 lead for Los Angeles with a 5.61 ERA in seven starts this season and scored 27 goals. The 30-year-old veteran has spent his entire professional career with the Dodgers, making the list of major leagues in 2016 and receiving an All-Star selection in 2018.
The Dodgers powerhouse remained at the top of the ranking. While division rival San Diego and other teams feverishly added big league talent in preparation for this unique postseason, Dodger's president for baseball operations Andrew Friedman decided nothing to change what was so good for the seven-time NL West defending champions works.
"We feel very good about the team we have and the depth we have behind it," said Friedman. “So our way of thinking wasn't about doing something just to do something. We have people on our 28-man roster who deserve to play time and (we) didn't want to block that unless it was someone who was really impressive. "
Stripling travels to Toronto to return to long-time Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, who embarked on a $ 80 million free agent deal in the off-season. The Blue Jays dramatically strengthened their pitching staff as of the cut-off date with the additions of Stripling, Robbie Ray, and Taijuan Walker.
"He's been very reliable with really good guns (and) incredible secondary options," said Ross Atkins, general manager of Blue Jays, of Stripling. "He throws harder this year. He fought a bit with right-handers so hopefully we can help him there."
Stripling's exit creates a place in the Dodgers' rotation for promising rookie right-handed Tony Gonsolin, Friedman said. Gonsolin has made four strong starts for Los Angeles this season with an ERA of .51, scored 17 strikeouts, and allowed only one run in 17 2/3 innings despite paced up and down the Dodgers' alternate training ground.
"We made the decision to put Tony on the rotation," Friedman said. "We have a lot of personal and professional respect for Ross. We believe he's a top division pitcher. We weren't comfortable getting him into the rotation." Bullpen, especially when we're looking at the next spring training. We felt it was in everyone's best interest (to make the trade). "
While stripling is a stable, dependable arm, the premier major league dodgers have an abundance of rotation candidates, even after tremendous upheaval in their starting pitching since last season. The Dodgers lost Ryu, Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda from last season's staff, and newcomer David Price turned down the season shortened with coronavirus.
But behind the stars Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, the Dodgers can choose between Julio Urías, Alex Wood and the promising youngsters Dustin May and Gonsolin to make the starts in their playoffs.
"I'm not sure how things will play out, but I am very confident that we will have an extremely talented pitching team in October," said Friedman. “It remains to be seen how exactly the guys will be deployed, but much like Walker in 2018, Dustin and Tony gained some post-season experience last year. We not only believe in their abilities, we also believe in them as competitors. "
Wood has only made one start this season with a shoulder infection, while Bühler will miss an upcoming start on the injured list with a blister on his pitching hand.
Los Angeles will be at home against division rivals Arizona and Colorado starting Tuesday between 26 and 10. While the Dodgers are in good shape, Friedman admits he followed the padres' movements with interest.
"They are a very impressive team," Friedman said of San Diego. “We knew and expected that (Padres General Manager) A.J. (Preller) would be aggressive and (we) look forward to playing them in September and who knows, maybe October too. "
Friedman knows the name of one of the two prospects who come to the Dodgers from the Blue Jays but would only say that it's someone "who goes really well with our next prospect". The Dodgers can choose the second prospect from a larger list of candidates later in the year.
The Dodgers almost sent Stripling and outfielder Joc Pederson to the Los Angeles Angels to trade for infielder Luis Rengifo earlier this year during the original spring training session. Angel's owner, Arte Moreno, scrapped that deal when protracted negotiations over Boston-based Dodgers' takeover of Mookie Betts delayed the deal.