Dodgers send Stripling to Blue Jays

Los Angeles receives Minor League righty Williams and a player to be named

September 1st, 2020

The Dodgers traded pitcher on Monday to clear a spot in the starting rotation for rookie right-hander , president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.

A day after the deal, the Blue Jays sent the Dodgers right-hander Kendall Williams as one of the two players to be named. On Monday, Friedman would not name them, but described one as “fitting in really well with our next crop of prospects that are coming.” The other player will be the Dodgers' choice off a list of candidates.

Williams, 20, was drafted in the second round of the 2019 Draft out of  IMG Academy, and he was ranked as the Blue Jays' No. 13 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Only the 60 players in a team’s player pool are eligible to be traded. Others must be considered players to be named later.

Dodgers get: RHP Kendall Williams and a player to be named
Blue Jays get: RHP Ross Stripling

As for moving Stripling, Friedman said his hand was forced by the improvement of Gonsolin, who hadn’t allowed a run until his fourth start on Sunday, which lasted three innings.

"We made the decision going forward to put Tony [Gonsolin] in the rotation,” Friedman said. “We have a ton of personal and professional respect for Ross and believe he’s a Major League starting pitcher. We didn’t feel comfortable putting him in the bullpen, especially as we look out toward next Spring Training; we felt like it was going to be difficult as well. We felt it was in everyone’s best interests."

Not even part of the starting rotation going into Spring Training, Stripling won his first three starts as a fill-in, with David Price not pitching. But in his past four starts, Stripling went winless with a 7.47 ERA, and was in jeopardy of losing his spot, anyway, with the expected return this week of Walker Buehler from the injured list.

The Dodgers did talk to the Rangers about Lance Lynn on Monday,’s T.R. Sullivan reported, but there was no last-minute trade, as there was in 2017 when Texas sent Yu Darvish to Los Angeles for Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis.

Friedman said he had conversations with clubs for players he felt would be “really impactful,” but “nothing that ultimately got all that close.”

With the best record in baseball, Friedman argued that he didn’t need to do anything. That’s what manager Dave Roberts said on Sunday, that any move now “would need to move the needle.” That needle spun wildly in February with the defining acquisition of Mookie Betts and Price. Even with Price not pitching, Betts alone has made it a transformational transaction.

Lynn, a workhorse, made some sense for the Dodgers, whose starting pitchers have failed to complete five innings in 11 of their last 12 starts. But Friedman said he’s comfortable with a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Buehler, Dustin May, Julio Urías and Gonsolin.

“We were really mindful coming out of Summer Camp as a whole and the ramp-up and accelerating into October,” he said. “We’ve seen guys stretched and pushed a little more recently and imagine that will continue. We also have a really good, deep ‘pen. So I think that making sure everyone is ramping up at a more deliberate pace, with the start-and-stop-and-start nature of this season, we’ll continue to see the workloads increase from here.”

While Friedman subtracted instead of added at the Deadline, the division upstart Padres added 10 players in recent days.

“They are a very formidable team,” Friedman said. “We knew and expected that A.J. [Preller, Padres general manager] would be aggressive. We look forward to playing them in September, and who knows, maybe October as well.”