Why the SF Giants' most recent trade was such a rare move with the A's

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

The SF Giants completed a surprise trade on Friday, sending veteran pitcher Ross Stripling to the Oakland A's. They received infield/outfield prospect Jonah Cox in return. This is a move that has not been done between the two clubs in over 30 years.

Why the SF Giants' most recent trade was such a rare move with 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. In essence, it is a salary dump move for the Giants and potentially a precursor to another move.

Spring training starts in just a few weeks, so what could that move be? We will find soon enough. In the meantime, the Giants and A's connected for a very rare trade on Friday.

In recent years, both teams have connected for more trades. There was about a 15-year stretch where no moves occurred between either club. The more recent trades have been insignificant in nature. Usually, a team is the recipient of a waiver claim and the other sends over cash considerations to complete the deal.

Sam Long, Cal Stevenson, Skye Bolt, and Burch Smith are some of the names that come to mind. In August of 2023, the Giants and A's completed their first player-for-player trade in over 30 years. Veteran pitcher Sean Newcomb was shipped to Oakland in exchange for infielder/outfielder Trenton Brooks. Neither player was on the 40-man roster prior to the move, so it is considered a minor move more than anything else.

However, it was the first player-for-player trade since the Giants acquired outfielder Darren Lewis and pitching prospect Pedro Pena in exchange for Ernie Riles in 1990. The Giants are inching closer to a move between players on each team's respective 40-man roster.

Friday's trade is one minor step forward. It was a player-for-player swap between the two teams with one player (Stripling) being on the 40-man roster. The prospect the Giants acquired, Jonah Cox, was a sixth-round pick in 2023 and reached Low-A in his pro debut.

There is a nuanced difference between the trade that took place six months ago and the one that occurred on Friday. Either way, the Giants and A's have connected for two, player-for-player trades within that past year. That would not have been believable just a few years ago.