Los Angeles Dodgers president Andrew Friedman is really, really good at dealing from a position of strength
Friedman exhibited that in February with by acquiring Mookie Betts from the Red Sox, and did so again Monday in a smaller deadline day deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
With Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Dustin May well entrenched in the starting rotation, Tony Gonsolin excelling in his first four starts of the shortened season, Alex Wood returning from the IL Tuesday and All-Star Walker Buehler set to return Wednesday, the Dodgers have plenty of pitching depth as they gear up for the playoffs. That enabled Friedman to trade righty starter Ross Stripling to the Jays for pitching prospect Kendall Williams.
Dodgers acquire RHP Kendall Williams in trade with Toronto. He is expected to join the player pool later this week. He’s 20 and was Blue Jays’ 2d-round pick last year.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) September 1, 2020
As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported, Kendall Williams will be one of the two players-to-be-named later in the deal and is brimming with upside.
Kendall Williams is a name Dodgers fans should get familiar with
A second-round pick out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Williams is a 6-6 righty starter who had a 1.15 ERA in 16 innings last year in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. Though we’re not really sure what the lost Minor League Baseball season is going to do to prospects quite yet, MLB.com already has Williams as the Dodgers’ 26th-ranked prospect with an estimated Major League debut in 2023.
The 30-year-old Stripling has a 5.61 ERA this season, is arbitration eligible after this season and has only thrown more than 100 innings in a season once in his career, when he logged 122 and was named a National League All-Star. With Los Angeles’ aforementioned pitching depth, Stripling was expendable.
Toronto wanted more depth and Friedman took advantage by obtaining a player who already has a 55 fastball and a 55 curveball on the 20-to-80 baseball scouting scale, according to MLB.com. A 50 on this scale is Major League average.
By dealing from a position of strength, Friedman was able to pick up someone who could be really beneficial down the line in exchange for a player like Stripling who wasn’t especially helping the Dodgers much in their quest to return to the World Series for the third time in four years.