Dodgers Receive Kendall Williams From Blue Jays In Ross Stripling Trade
View of a Los Angeles Dodgers cap on the mound in the bullpen at Dodger Stadium
Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated

The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired Kendal Williams from the Toronto Blue Jays as one of the two players to be named later in the Ross Stripling trade. The pitching prospect is expected to be added to the Dodgers’ player pool later this week.

He was selected by the Blue Jays in the second round (No. 52 overall) of the 2019 MLB Draft and was ranked their No. 13 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline. Williams was committed to Vanderbilt but signed with the Blue Jays for above slot value. The 6’6 hurler recently turned 20 years old.

Williams has a fastball that can reach the mid-90s and also throws a curveball and slider. There’s some belief the curveball could emerge as a real weapon for Williams, who also has some feel for a changeup that remains in development.

Williams allowed just two runs in 16 innings (1.13 ERA) in six games (five starts) last year for the Blue Jays’ rookie level affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.

The acquisition of Williams fits what Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club was poised to receive from Toronto. “We are definitely getting a guy we like and feel like will fit in really well with our next crop of prospects that are coming,” he said.

“And then another guy that will come from a bigger list that we’ll just have some time to kind of work through.”

Friedman added both players the Dodgers ultimately were going to receive would “take a little bit of time” before they were Major League ready.

Dodgers took measured approach at trade deadline

On the even of this year’s MLB trade deadline, the Dodgers were connected to the likes of Texas Rangers starter Lance Lynn, Mike Clevinger of the Cleveland Indians, and Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader.

Indications were the club was targeting marquee talent, which fit with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saying a trade would need to “move the needle” given the talented roster.

Clevinger was ultimately traded to the Padres, while Hader and Lynn remained with their respective teams. Trading Stripling wound up being the only move L.A. made.

“From our standpoint — we talked about this before the deadline — we feel really good about the team that we have, and also the depth behind it. Our mindset was not to just do something to do something, and that we have guys on our 28-man roster who are deserving of playing time,” Friedman explained.

“Didn’t want to block that unless it was someone really impactful. So we had some of those conversations; nothing that ultimately got all that close. But again, we felt like we were operating from a position of strength in that we’ve been fortunate from a health standpoint, that we feel really good not just about our starting group but our entire roster and even some depth that right now is at USC.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!