Giants reach two-year deal with Stripling

December 14th, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants continued to stockpile rotation depth Tuesday, agreeing to terms with veteran right-hander on a two-year Major League contract worth $25 million, which includes an opt-out clause following the 2023 season.

Stripling will make $7.5 million in '23 and $12.5 million in '24. He will receive a $5 million signing bonus and make an annual donation to the Giants Community Fund, donating $62,500 in both '23 and '24.

The terms of Stripling’s contract are identical to those offered to left-hander , who on Sunday reportedly reached an agreement to join San Francisco.

Stripling, who turned 33 on Nov. 23, is coming off a strong season with the Blue Jays -- a 3.01 ERA over 32 appearances. He split time between starting and relieving early in 2022 but moved into the rotation permanently in early June. From that point forward, he posted a 2.64 ERA over 19 starts, held opponents to a .587 OPS and struck out 82 batters against 12 walks. Overall, his superb 3.7% walk rate placed him in the 98th percentile among all pitchers.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi knows Stripling well, because the 2018 National League All-Star spent the first five years of his career with the Dodgers, Zaidi’s former employer. During a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday, Stripling said Zaidi was one of the first executives to reach out this offseason to express interest in signing him.

“I know he was in the throes of Aaron Judge and maybe some other guys,” Stripling said, “but he was always coming back and saying, ‘We’re going to offer Ross. We’re going to get in on Ross. It’s going to happen. He’s part of our plan.’

“When Farhan speaks, I think he tells the truth. I believed it, and then he comes in and gets the deal done. I couldn’t be more excited to be in San Francisco.”

Stripling made his Major League debut at Oracle Park on April 8, 2016, and fired 7 1/3 no-hit innings before being lifted by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Stripling departed after throwing 99 pitches, then was denied the win after Giants catcher Trevor Brown crushed a game-tying home run off reliever Chris Hatcher in the bottom of the eighth.

“It never gets old,” Stripling said. “That was seven years ago now, which is crazy. I think about it all the time. I still get asked about it all the time, ‘Do you think you could have finished it? Are you still mad at Dave Roberts?’ which I'm not. It was just like a perfect combination of some of the craziest things that have ever happened. It was just a crazy game and an awesome debut.”

In San Francisco, Stripling is poised to reunite with former Dodgers and . Pederson was Stripling’s roommate at the Double-A level; Wood appeared in Stripling’s wedding.

With the additions of Stripling and Manaea, the Giants appear to have six starting options in their rotation, which already included , , and Wood. Still, there are some question marks surrounding the health of DeSclafani, who underwent season-ending surgery on his right ankle in July.

“Farhan told me that he sees me as a starter and that there are as many innings available for me as I can handle,” Stripling said. “I feel like the Giants and Farhan specifically are very creative and good at using guys to their strengths and getting the most out of their guys.”

Righty , who is expected to shift into a swingman role, and lefty also are expected to factor into the rotation mix. Harrison, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Giants' No. 2 prospect, is slated to open the season at Triple-A Sacramento.

Barring a trade, the Giants seem to be preparing for life without All-Star left-hander Carlos Rodón, who reportedly is seeking a seven-year deal in the neighborhood of $200 million.

Stripling followed Rodón’s example by also including an opt-out clause in his two-year deal with the Giants, which could enable him to return to the open market next winter.

“If I go out and do great this season, like I expect to, and like Carlos Rodón, I throw 180 innings with good results and show teams that I can get there, then I enter the free agent market next year in a much better spot,” Stripling said. “It wasn’t a deal breaker one way or the other. The Giants still had the best offer. They offered me the opt-out, and it was literally a no-brainer.”

The Giants outrighted right-hander to Triple-A Sacramento to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Stripling.