From the moment he opted in to the second year of his contract at the end of last season, Ross Stripling didn’t have a clear spot on the San Francisco Giants’ 26-man roster.
On Friday, the 34-year-old right-hander was sent across the Bay, to the Oakland A’s, in exchange for a Single-A outfielder, 22-year-old Jonah Cox. They will also pay part of his $12.5 million salary, the club announced.
After signing a two-year, $25 million contract last offseason, Stripling had a rocky single season with the Giants. He battled his own health, his usage and, most to his detriment, the home run ball, while going 0-5 with a 5.36 ERA — and serving up 20 dingers — in 89 innings over 22 appearances.
As the first pitcher in Giants history to start at least 10 games without recording a win, Stripling was already a piece of trivia. With his trade to the A’s, he becomes another.
While the organizations have executed a handful of waiver wire and minor-league deals over recent years, Stripling is the first player on either team’s major-league roster to be exchanged in a trade since the A’s sent Darren Lewis and a player to be named later for Ernie Riles in 1990.
The A’s, in need of veteran innings, have now scooped up a pair of arms tossed aside by the Giants, in Stripling and Alex Wood, who signed a one-year, $13 million free-agent deal earlier this week.
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The Giants’ rotation, meanwhile, comes into clearer view with the trade of Stripling, who had been overtaken on the depth chart by younger, cheaper arms, as well as this offseason’s additions of Jordan Hicks and Robbie Ray.
With Ray out until the All-Star break — and Alex Cobb for nearly that long — the Giants will be heavily dependent on their stable of young pitching talent to start the season.
After Logan Webb and Hicks (who has only eight major-league starts to his name, himself), the Giants are left with Kyle Harrison, Keaton Winn and Tristan Beck, with Sean Hjelle and other soon-to-graduate prospects Kai-Wei Teng, Mason Black Carson Whisenhunt and Hayden Birdsong behind them.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.