The Ross Stripling era in San Francisco is officially over. On Friday, the SF Giants shipped the right-handed hurler to the Oakland A's in exchange for infield/outfield prospect Jonah Cox according to a team announcement.
SF Giants swing surprise trade, ship veteran pitcher to the A's
Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports that the Giants will be pitching in $3.25 million of the remaining $12.5 million owed to Stripling. This does save the Giants a little over $9 million, so it feels like a precursor to another move.
The Giants originally signed Stripling to a two-year, $25 million pact last offseason. This included an opt-out after the first season. However, that opt-out was not exercised as he struggled to the tune of a 5.36 ERA, 5.21 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, and a 4.38 SO/W ratio across 89 innings.
The concerns with Stripling began almost immediately as he was hit hard during spring training. Spring training results do not carry much weight, but the results leaked into the regular season as he yielded six home runs in his first three appearances. It rarely got better from there for Stripling. The decision to move on from him gives the Giants more flexibility to make another signing or rely on one of their young starting pitchers to carve out a role.
When he signed, it did not feel like a bad investment at the time. After all, Stripling was coming off of a solid 2022 season in which he tallied a 3.01 ERA in 32 outings for the Toronto Blue Jays. The veteran pitcher generally recorded a healthy number of strikeouts while limiting walks, so it felt like a natural fit for San Francisco.
Plus, Stripling has had some quality seasons throughout his eight-year career. This includes a 2018 campaign in which he registered a 3.02 ERA in 33 appearances while earning his first and only All-Star bid. Of course, his strong seasons were often alternated with poor seasons as well. There is a wide range of outcomes with Stripling, but it would not be too surprising if he rebounded with the A's.
In the deal, the Giants received versatile glove Jonah Cox. Cox was a sixth-round pick by the A's in 2023 out of Oral Roberts University. He posted a .769 OPS with two home runs in 145 plate appearances across two levels during his pro debut.