Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling were all but officially headed from the Dodgers to the Angels in a trade that branched off from the original Dodgers/Red Sox/Twins three-team swap that would have sent Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles. While that initial three-team trade broke down and was revived as two separate deals, however, the Dodgers and Angels broke off the planned swap that would have sent Pederson, Stripling, and prospect Andy Pages to Anaheim for a package that included infield prospect Luis Rengifo.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman kept Pederson and Stripling up to date as talks progressed, though since no trade developed, both players are still in Dodger blue. The end result is a situation Pederson admitted was “a little awkward” as Spring Training begins, though he told media (including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register) that he is “excited to be here, ready to win a World Series.” Stripling concurred, saying that while the opportunity to be a full-time starting pitcher for the Angels was intriguing, he is happy to remain with what he described as “a first-class organization all the way through.” As to almost being traded, Stripling “didn’t choose to take it personally,” noting “I understand the business side of it…we had a chance to get Mookie Betts and David Price. If that means getting rid of Ross Stripling, then that’s part of it.”
More from around the NL West…
- Wil Myers also isn’t any stranger to the Mookie Betts trade saga, as he was reportedly part of a Padres offer headed to Boston in exchange for the star outfielder. “It seemed extremely real at that given moment,” Myers told the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee and other reporters, though he noted that “I’ve been traded twice. I’ve been in trade rumors a long time. I’ve figured out how to deal with it. I have no hard feelings toward anybody…I understand the business side.” The proposed Betts trade was far from Myers’ only inclusion in the offseason rumor mill, as the Padres have reportedly been trying to unload the former AL Rookie Of The Year (and at least some of the $61MM remaining on Myers’ contract) for much of the winter. If a trade doesn’t happen, Myers is looking forward to a new season and a fresh start with a new coaching staff, as he admitted to a bit of tension with former manager Andy Green. “Listen, it goes both ways. There are times you’re with a guy for four years and certain things happen,” Myers said. “Nobody hates Andy. It was a situation that happens. At the highest level, emotions run high.”
- While the Padres haven’t shut the door on using Jurickson Profar at other positions during the season, Profar’s Spring Training work will be focused around second base, manager Jayce Tingler told MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell and other reporters. “Right now, where we’re trying to get his progression on the throwing, we find it best to just stay concentrated at second base,” Tingler said. “But, again, being a switch-hitter and being able to play six or seven different positions, we view that as a positive.” Acquired in a trade with the Athletics in December, Profar is still looking to fully establish himself as an everyday player after dealing with multiple injuries and overall inconsistent performance, and he has still played in only 491 MLB games since the start of the 2012 season. Profar has spent the bulk of his time at the big league level as a second baseman (1536 2/3 of 3590 2/3 career innings), though after also spending a lot of time as a shortstop, third baseman, first baseman, and left fielder, it could be that stabilizing at one position will be what helps Profar not just improve defensively, but also get his bat on track.
- Pablo Sandoval is excited to be back with the Giants, telling Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and other reporters that though he received offers from other teams this winter, “I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made before” in signing somewhere other than San Francisco. (i.e. signing with the Red Sox after the 2014 season.) It seems as if the Giants also had their eye on re-signing the Kung Fu Panda, as manager Gabe Kapler invited Sandoval along to a December lunch with pitchers Andrew Suarez and Shaun Anderson in Miami. “I think we envisioned [Sandoval] being a Giant,” Kapler said. It will still be a few months before Sandoval officially dons the orange-and-black in a regular season game, as the veteran is recovering from Tommy John surgery.