The 2020 MLB trade deadline came and went on Monday afternoon, and as the one o’clock hour rolled by, it looked as if the Dodgers were standing pat and not making any moves. Then, about an hour later the club announced they had traded Ross Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays for two players to be named later.
Following the trade, Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations for the Dodgers, spoke with the media about the deal and what this means for the Dodgers moving forward not only for the remainder of the season, but 2021 as well.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a player and person,” Friedman said. “We had an open an honest conversation. He was appreciative and a real pro as you’d expect. It was a really good conversation.”
When asked about what his expectations would be in regards to this years deadline, Friedman said he knew it would be much different. He said that he feels really good about the Dodgers and their depth moving forward.
“Our mindset was not to do something to do something,” he said. “We have guys on our 28-man roster who are deserving of playing time and didn’t want to block that unless it was someone really impactful. Nothing that ultimately all that close. We felt like we were operating from a position of strength. We’ve been fortunate from a health standpoint. We feel really good about our starting group and our entire roster and some depth that is at USC.”
The Dodgers’ starting rotation has a lot of questions, and it was tough to see where Stripling fit in longterm. They have Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May as well as Alex Wood who will be returning shortly from the Injured List.
“I feel confident we’re going to have an extremely talented pitching staff come October,” Friedman said. “How guys will be deployed remains to be seen. We not only believe in their abilities, but we believe in them as competitors and feel good with them helping our pursuit in winning a championship.”
As mentioned, the Dodgers will be getting back two players to be named later, and it could be some time until we know who the prospects are that the Dodgers will be getting back in the deal.
“We are definitely getting a guy we like that will fit in really well with our next crop of prospects that are coming,” Friedman said. “And then another that will come from a bigger list that we’ll have some time to work with. I think it’ll take a little bit of time.”
Obviously, this was a difficult thing for Friedman to do as Stripling is a fan-favorite and is loved in the clubhouse. He’s been a great teammate, and has represented the Dodgers well since he debuted with the club in 2016.
“From our standpoint, this was extremely difficult moving Ross,” he said. “It was a conversation that I was not looking forward to just because of the respect level. Kind of walked through the exact reason of Tony going into the rotation and being sensitive to what happened in spring training. He’s absolutely a major-league starting pitcher and a lot of it has been a function of timing.
“From our standpoint as we look to next year, we see a strong group that would have made it difficult to give him and assurance about next year. That was more of the guiding light for us and the number of guys we have up here. He’s been a big part of what we’ve accomplished the last four years.”