It’s a crazy busy time for the Dodgers, and it just won’t stop. After reports that Joc Pederson was going to Anaheim in exchange for an infield prospect, the rumors expanded to include “a big league starter,” amongst more in a deal that was still coming together.
Angels-Dodgers trade is not yet done as players are being informed, source tells The Athletic. Angels getting Joc Pederson, a big league starter and a prospect from the Dodgers in exchange for Luis Rengifo and another prospect.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) February 5, 2020
The Dodgers prospect was later reported to be Andy Pages, a 19-year-old, power-hitting outfield prospect, but now the rumors of who the big league starter is have been confirmed.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 5, 2020
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirmed that Dodgers swing man Ross Stripling is heading down the 5 freeway as part of the deal that includes Pederson for Luis Rengifo.
Stripling, a 2018 All-Star as a starter in the National League, has long been a pitcher without a true roll in Los Angeles. Now he’ll slot into the rotation in Orange County and help bolster a starting rotation that is widely considered below average.
While Dodger fans have undoubtedly grown to love their “Chicken Strip,” the desire to remain at or under the competitive balance tax threshold proved to be the driving force behind sending Pederson (at least $7.5M due in 2020, pending upcoming salary arbitration, and $2.1M for Stripling).
That desire reached a fever pitch after Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman reportedly completed a deal that brought 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and former AL Cy Young award winner David Price to Los Angeles in a three-team move with Boston and Minnesota in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo and right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda.
In exchange for Pederson, Stripling, and Pages, LA picked up a highly regarded defender in Rengifo who made his MLB debut last season. While Rengifo may profile as a Kiké Hernandez of the future, his role with the Dodgers isn’t immediately apparent. He’s has two option years remaining, which plays up for the club.
Best of luck to Ross Stripling down in Anaheim!