Undeniably, when the Los Angeles Dodgers trade to the Los Angeles Angels that would have sent Ross Stripling and Joc Pederson across town got nixed; a lot of us were happy. It goes without saying that these two players have been part of our lives following the Dodgers and the game of baseball for a long time now.
Beyond being fan favorites, they both help the organization win ballgames. Indeed, that is the brass tax and trumps sentimental allegiances. Recently, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman joined MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM to talk about both players remaining Dodgers in 2020.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 12, 2020
Initially, Friedman talks about how the situation came to be in the first place. Then, he talks about his appreciation for the adjustments that Joc Pederson has made in developing from young prospect to current lefty masher in the lineup.
“We were working on a lot of different combinations of deals, with the end goal to end up with Mookie Betts and David Price. And so it took on a lot of different life forms and iterations, there were a lot of moving parts. I don’t think the full picture was really captured publicly. For us, we think the improvement about Joc; he’s a guy who has gotten better every single year. You look at his strikeout rate and his October performance. His value and what he means to this club and it’s not lost on us.”
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Next – Friedman talks about one of our personal favorites on the mound – Ross Stripling. Personally, Stripling is a guy I have always loved to watch pitch. He brings an immense amount of guile and even on days his best stuff isn’t with him, he battles with an intelligence to get hitters out. It seems like the head man knows this better than anyone.
“With Stripling, he was an All-Star and the consummate teammate. He really backs up the words of whatever it takes for the team to win. For both guys, we are happy they are members of the 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers. And both guys are also happy to be Dodgers. I think obviously conversations happen. As things were getting out I talked with both of them and kept them abreast best I could. Obviously there were just so many moving parts playing out publicly. It was a little awkward and uncomfortable.”
So many times over the course of my life I have seen strokes of irony play out in baseball. With a second lease on their baseball life at Chavez Ravine, don’t be surprised if you see one or both of these players come up with a key season-defining moment that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible if this trade went through.