3. Yankees-Blue Jays Trade: Ross Stripling
Remember when Ross Stripling yelled at then-Blue Jays third baseman Joe Panik in the middle of a game for making an error against the Yankees? Then ended up giving up the game-winning runs en route to a loss? Intense stuff.
Though Panik is no longer with the team, perhaps Toronto, whose rotation and bullpen was revamped before the trade deadline and in free agency before the lockout despite the loss of Robbie Ray, might be willing to move Stripling and his ~$4.4 million salary for 2022.
The right-hander is a classic multi-purpose arm, having ample experience in the rotation and bullpen since debuting back in 2016. With Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jose Berrios, Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah making up the first four arms in the rotation, do the Jays want to upgrade over Stripling for that fifth spot? Do they think they can do better by acquiring someone on the trade market? Or what if they just wanted to spend more and went after someone like Carlos Rodón or Yusei Kikuchi instead?
Holding onto Stripling still might be a good idea to give the pitching staff as much depth as possible, but maybe the Yankees have a prospect or MLB asset that Toronto prefers over Stripling. On the other hand, Stripling can give New York a viable spot starter and multi-inning reliever to take pressure off the top of the rotation and back end of the bullpen, both of which faltered due to fatigue last year.
Crazier things have happened than two division rivals making a trade for a pitcher who has a career 3.97 ERA.