Starting pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays has been inconsistent, to say the least. Kevin Gausman for the most part has been the $110 million dollar player they signed this offseason. Alek Manoah has proven that his rookie year was no fluke and he looks to be a future ace.
With Jose Berrios’ struggles and Yusei Kikuchi now in the bullpen, Ross Stripling has been the third-best pitcher on this Jays team this year. The right-hander has gone 6-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 24 appearances. His ERA is even lower as a starter, sitting at 2.80 through 18 starts.
Stripling has a 2.96 FIP and a 134 ERA+. His outstanding season has been no fluke and he has been easily the most underrated player on this star-studded Blue Jays team. With the season-ending injury to Ryu, and the struggles hampering Berrios and Kikuchi, I have no idea where this Blue Jays team would be without Ross Stripling.
Gausman and Manoah will be the Jays first two options to start in a playoff series but with the way Stripling has pitched, he will probably be their third option.
The Blue Jays should look to bring Ross Stripling back on a multi-year deal as he approaches free agency.
Ross Stripling can be impactful on just about any team. He’s a guy who can start a game if need be, and he’s a guy who can be a long reliever in the bullpen. I would bring Stripling back in that swingman role any day.
The Jays have Berrios, Gausman, and Manoah locked into their 2023 rotation. After that, there are question marks. Hyun-Jin Ryu is out for likely a majority of next season after undergoing another Tommy John surgery. Can Yusei Kikuchi be trusted as a full-time starter? I’d say no.
The Jays will likely sign a starter in free agency but will they get two? I’m not so sure. Having Stripling there to be the fifth starter or a long man can prove to be beneficial at a position many teams struggle to find depth at.
Stripling is 32 years old and considering he’s having his first outstanding season since his All-Star campaign in 2018, I don’t think he will cost very much if the Jays look to bring him back.
I believe a one-year deal is the best solution, but the qualifying offer is too much money. Bringing the veteran back on a cheaper two-year deal makes a lot of sense to me.
He’s making $3.79 million dollars this season. Even if they triple that money he will be making much less than the $18+ million dollars the qualifying offer is worth in 2023.
Stripling has shown his worth this season and letting him go I think would be a mistake.