While the offseason very much was centered around free agency decisions of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, the Los Angeles Dodgers and other clubs also had arbitration matters to tend to.
The first step of that was determining which eligible players would be tendered contracts, which for the Dodgers was Pedro Baez, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Ross Stripling, Chris Taylor and Julio Urias.
Scott Alexander and Austin Barnes were also eligible for salary arbitration, but they both agreed to one-year contracts in early December. Meanwhile, Yimi Garcia was non-tendered and immediately became a free agent. He later went on to sign a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins.
With Friday’s deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration salary figures looming, the Dodgers and Ross Stripling reportedly avoided that process by agreeing to a one-year contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Contract agreements: Ross Stripling ($2.1 million)
Like most other contracts when avoiding arbitration, Stripling’s deal presumably is non-guaranteed. He was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $2.3 million this season.
Stripling began his career as a starter but has filled a key role for the Dodgers as a versatile swingman. In 32 appearances during the 2019 season — 15 of which were starts — he went 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA, 3.47 FIP and 1.15 WHIP with 93 strikeouts against 20 walks over 90.2 innings pitched.
The 29-year-old received the bulk of his starts in April and July. Stripling closed out the season as a relief pitcher and was included on the Dodgers’ roster for the National League Division Series roster as such. He made just one appearance against the Washington Nationals in Game 4.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently indicated Stripling would be among the candidates to serve as the team’s fifth starter this season. Friedman mentioned Tony Gonsolin in that discussion as well, and it has since grown to include Jimmy Nelson.
Reports of additional agreements presumably will surface throughout Friday, or the Dodgers themselves will make an official announcement.
It’s worth noting Friedman hasn’t gone to arbitration at any point in his tenure with the team. The club’s last arbitration hearing was in 2007 with Joe Beimel.
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