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Dodgers: Ross Stripling Gets Honest When Asked About the Trade That Fell Through

Stripling didn’t hold back when asked how he felt about the near trade.

It’s been a long and winding road for the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling. He’s seen his fair share of ups and downs, but he could easily be considered one of the most consistent pitchers on the entire staff for the last four seasons.

The Dodgers have asked a lot out of Stripling since his arrival in 2016. He has started in 52 games throwing 257 innings, and he has come in as a reliever 84 times throwing 130 innings. Ross has become the definition of a swingman in a rotation during his time in Los Angeles. And to his credit, you never hear him complain to anyone about his role, despite the fact we all know he would prefer to start games.

The Dodgers put Ross in a bit of an awkward situation this past February. While the Mookie Betts deal was on hold, Los Angeles agreed to trade him to Anaheim along with Joc Pederson but had to wait on the Betts trade to pull through. So for five days, Stripling and Pederson did not know where they were headed to for Spring Training. That trade was eventually called off by the Angels who grew tired of waiting on Andrew Friedman to pull the trigger.

As it turns out, Ross would not have hated the trade to the Angels. The Dodgers’ pitcher spoke about the trade pretty candidly with Pedro Moura and Andy McCullough on The Scribes of Summer podcast this week.

It was such a win-win really for me when you look back at it. You get a chance to go to an Angels team that has an unbelievable lineup…and then a rotation that needs help, a pitching staff that needs help…I’m a 30-year-old man, I’m not a 24-year-old kid waiting for an opportunity…My window is theoretically closing, and to get a chance to go and make some starts like that is a big deal.

Any Dodgers fan would tell you that they would love for Ross to get the chance to start, knowing full well that he would be a solid number three guy in most rotations. He just so happens to be a part of a very deep Dodgers’ pitching staff that’s holding him back. When he talked about the competition to earn a rotation spot this spring, it sounded like he wasn’t even given the opportunity.

When it kind of fell through, Andrew [Friedman], and Mark [Walter], and Dave Roberts were kind of saying, ‘You are going to get a chance to be a starter’… And then when we announced Julio as the number four before games even started. And Alex Wood was clearly the number five, and they announced that. That’s kind of when I reflected, and kind of was like… I don’t know if I really got a chance to earn that fifth spot this spring…It might have been a pretty cool opportunity to go compete for an Opening Day role.

It did seem as though the Dodgers named their starting rotation very early on in Spring Traning, effectively naming all five before the league even shut down. Dave Roberts had already given Alex Wood the final rotation spot before he could make his third start of spring. 

So while a trade to the Angels would have been a great opportunity for Stripling, he also acknowledges that he loves where he’s at with the Dodgers. Ross will act as the next guy up should one of the starting five go down with injuries, as he has for his entire career.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. A lot of people were puzzled by the Angels trade because the Dodgers were clearly giving up two quality major leaguers for pretty much nothing. But I thought it was Friedman trying to do well for two of his “good soldiers” in the same way that he sent Maeda to the Twins were he could be a full time starter. I realize that decisions shouldn’t be made for sentimental reasons, but sending Pedersen and Stripling to the Angels was essentially giving them the chance to take on greater roles than they will ever get with the Dodgers. It would have been a good thing to do.

    • I never considered that as a reason but I like it! It was partially a cost cutting move but to think A F was doing it to help these 2 players is very likely. Good call!

  2. It’s kind of evil what the Dodgers are doing to him. His point about him being 30 was sad to me, time he can’t get back, he needs to be traded as soon as possible so he can have some kind of career as a starter. I personally find him to be overrated he tends to flame out in the second half but on another team not as deep and talented as ours he is definitely a solid 3.

  3. It’s tough being a Dodger. If you are okay platooning, then you should be happy. If you want to fulfill your dream of playing baseball everyday, then being in todays Dodgers’ organization would be tough.

  4. I have always liked Ross and Joc, so I’m glad the trade fell through, no thanks to management. Who were the Dodgers going to get for these two?

  5. Average pitcher, has a few good innings and the falls apart. Have watched him many times! Joc is a streaky hitter however a good cheer leader on the team! Every team needs a rah rah guy on the Field!

  6. Like Daniel said, strictly a salary dump. They were looking toward what they would need to sign Mookie Betts to a free agent deal after the season. And they did not want to give up prospects. Strip and JPete were the best options. I think Stripling was the key piece for Anaheim and Joc was a throw in, a guy without a regular position. If Arte Moreno was not such a chump, Strip would be getting his wish and I would be all for it. He deserves the chance to start and the Dodgers are loaded with younger arms.

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