Some offseason from the San Francisco Giants! First, they miss out on Aaron Judge and got Mitch Haniger as a consolation prize. Then they add Sean Manaea to their rotation, knowing very well how badly the Los Angeles Dodgers owned him last year. Now, they’ve signed a former Dodger to join their crowded rotation!
Ladies and gentleman, Ross Stripling is coming back to the NL West. The Dodgers traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2020 and the right-hander’s enjoyed some success, including a career year in 2022.
He finished with a 3.01 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 1.02 WHIP and 111 strikeouts in 32 games (24 starts), totaling 134.1 innings. But his most memorable moment in Toronto was screaming at (former Giant!) Joe Panik for making a throwing error during one of his outings. Great stuff.
Entering his age-33 season, Stripling will earn $25 million over the life of the two-year contract with the Giants, a move that ostensibly took them out of the Carlos Rodón sweepstakes, since they now have six starters (or pitchers capable of starting) on their roster. And don’t forget top prospect Sean Hjelle!
Stripling now joins a cast of the most mediocre starters you’ve ever seen assembled in one rotation.
The Giants have signed former Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling
This was supposed to be a golden offseason for the Giants and they instead ended up overpaying Joc Pederson on a one-year qualifying offer out of desperation before adding a bunch of second- and third-tier players to their .500 roster.
The price might be right for Stripling, but he’s never been a full-time starter. Not once in his seven-year career. He logged career highs/bests in 2022 with the Blue Jays, but to assume this is anything more than an insurance move for the pitching staff or a strategy to lengthen the rotation in the event someone suffers an injury would be irresponsible.
With Stripling in the mix, the Giants are now paying these six starters a total of ~$63 million. For comparison, the Dodgers are paying Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Walker Buehler (who won’t be playing), Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin less than that ($46.7 million) and figure to bring top prospects into the picture for 2023.
San Fran is treading water with experienced/over-the-hill veterans who are unlikely to help them get beyond a wildly disappointing 2022. It’s always good to have excess pitching, but when you don’t have a clear cut ace or a threatening offense, what good is depth if it’s not exceptional?
Not exactly putting that $360 million they earmarked for Aaron Judge to good use now, are they?