The Giants and Athletics agreed to a trade on Friday, sending veteran right-hander Ross Stripling and cash considerations to Oakland in exchange for outfielder Jonah Cox. The Giants announced the deal on Twitter. The Giants will also be sending $3.25 million to the A’s in the deal, so Oakland will pay him $9.25 million in 2024, per The Athletic.
Stripling, 34, signed a two-year pact worth $25 million with the Giants last winter. He had a disappointing season in town, amassing a 5.36 ERA (79 ERA+) and a 4.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22 appearances (11 of them starts). He had enjoyed what amounted to a career year in 2022, compiling a 128 ERA+ and a 5.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 134 innings with the Toronto Blue Jays.
It’s perhaps worth noting that Stripling raised eyebrows late in the season when he told reporters that he was expecting to get in trouble for mentioning he was on the “phantom IL,” a fancy way of saying that he was exaggerating an injury for roster mechanism purposes. You may recall that the New York Mets were investigated earlier this offseason for their usage of the “phantom IL,” something the league frowns upon for competitive integrity reasons.
Here’s more from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said that the phrase “phantom IL” — one that can get teams in trouble because it implies there was no injury involved — is inaccurate because Stripling did have a legitimate injury and told team officials when the club was in Atlanta that he felt a stint on the injured list would be the best course of action.
Even with San Francisco paying some of Stripling’s salary, his $9.25M figure makes him the highest-paid player for the rebuilding and soon-to-be-nomadic A’s. Stripling figures to be the second former Giants pitcher to join the A’s rotation in recent times, reuniting with left-hander Alex Wood. Wood will have the second-highest salary on the A’s with a reported $8.5 million salary.
Cox, 22, was the A’s sixth-round pick by way of Oral Roberts University. In his 35-game introduction to pro ball, he hit .287/.366/.403 with two home runs and 20 stolen bases. He was ranked by MLB.com as the 28th-best prospect in the A’s system, with them crediting his well-above-average speed as his best tool.