Skip to content

Stripling: I had no chance to make Dodgers' rotation, Angels trade was win-win

Rob Carr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Ross Stripling can't help but play what-if after an offseason trade that would have sent him from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Los Angeles Angels fell through.

"(That trade) was such a win-win for me," Stripling told Pedro Moura and Andy McCullough during an appearance on "The Scribes of Summer" podcast. "You're talking (about) getting a chance to go to an Angels team that has an unbelievable lineup, one of the best lineups in baseball, maybe the two best hitters in baseball. And then a rotation that needs help, a pitching staff that needs help, and a chance to jump in there and ... make 30 starts."

Stripling was part of an offseason trade that would have sent himself as well as outfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels as the Dodgers made a three-team deal to land Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox. However, when that deal needed to be reworked without the Minnesota Twins' involvement, Angels owner Arte Moreno admitted to being frustrated with the holdup and axed the Stripling deal.

The 30-year-old right-hander, who has made 136 appearances and 52 starts, said he was reassured by the Dodgers about his role with the team when the trade fell through. That reassurance didn't last long, though.

"When (the trade) kind of fell through, (president of baseball operations) Andrew (Friedman), (owner and chairman) Mark (Walter), and Dave Roberts were kind of saying 'You're going to get a chance to be a starter. We really value you and your versatility and all that stuff, but we see you as a starter, you're going to get a chance.' And then, when we announced Julio (Urias) as the No. 4 before games even started, and then Alex Wood was basically clearly the No. 5 and then they announced that. That's kind of when I reflected and just kind of was, like, 'Crap, I don't know if I really got a chance to earn that fifth spot this spring and it might have been really cool to go compete for an Opening Day role for the Angels.'"

Since breaking into the majors as a highly touted teenager, Urias has authored a 3.18 ERA and 3.40 FIP. The left-hander has made 63 total appearances with 23 starts, missing time due to shoulder injuries and a suspension for violating the league's domestic violence policy.

Meanwhile, Wood was traded by the Dodgers last year along with Yasiel Puig to the Cincinnati Reds. The 29-year-old lefty returned to L.A. this winter, though, landing a one-year, $4-million deal.

Although Stripling's position with the team seems precarious, the former All-Star insisted "I'm really, really happy with where I'm at. I love being a Dodger, I love competing for a World Series."

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox