Right-hander Ross Stripling and San Francisco on Tuesday agreed to a two-year, $25 million contract that includes an opt-out after the first season, enriching a Giants rotation with another free agent acquisition.
On the heels of signing left-hander Sean Manaea to the same deal, the Giants locked up Stripling, a 33-year-old coming off a career-best season in Toronto. Working mostly as a starter, Stripling (10-4) put up a 3.01 ERA over 134⅓ innings, striking out 111 and walking just 20.
Stripling, who is getting a $5 million signing bonus, will earn $7.5 million in 2023 and $12.5 million in 2024.
"I expect to start," Stripling said in a video call on Wednesday. "I had a good year as a starter. I feel like the couple times I've gotten a runway as a starter in the big leagues, where I kind of knew my position in the rotation as a starter was safe, is when I've done the best. I made an All-Star game in 2018 with the Dodgers and then this year with Toronto, and I knew they basically didn't have anyone and they gave me some runway and I was able to do well."
San Francisco is building a rotation with significant depth a year after signing Alex Cobb, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood to multiyear free agent deals. Atop their rotation is 26-year-old ace Logan Webb, and they also return Jakob Junis and Sean Hjelle, who was a starter in the minor leagues but worked in long relief in the big leagues.
The Giants' pursuit of the best player on the free agent market, Aaron Judge, came up short, but they remain a potential landing spot for the best remaining player -- shortstop Carlos Correa -- as they transition from their championship core of the early 2010s to a new era led by president Farhan Zaidi.
Stripling fits the Giants' archetype. While his fastball isn't overwhelming, it's effective, and his command of it helps his changeup and slider -- his two best secondary pitches -- play up. In addition to his walk rate being elite, he consistently got hitters to chase his pitches out of the zone last season.
"Kind of kitchen sink from pitch one where I keep hitters off balance by throwing anything in any count,'' Stripling said.
He could be in line for regression with home runs after his rate last year was halved despite playing in the home run-friendly Rogers Centre, but Oracle Park is among the friendliest stadiums for pitchers, and his expected metrics aligned closely with his ERA.
Stripling, who was famously yanked from a no-hitter as a rookie to protect his arm, reached free agency after spending his first 4½ seasons with the Dodgers and the last 2½ in Toronto. Since debuting in 2016, he is 38-38 with a 3.78 ERA in 672 innings and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.91-to-1, which ranks 29th of the 137 pitchers with at least 500 innings in that time span.
"Man, it never gets old," Stripling said when asked about Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulling him after seven no-hit innings vs. San Francisco in his major league debut on April 8, 201. "That was seven years ago now, which is crazy, just how special that was. I think about it all the time.
"Still get asked about it all the time, 'Do you think you could have finished it?' Or 'Are you still made at Dave Roberts?' All this kind of stuff, which I'm not."
Right-hander Miguel Yajure cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Sacramento, clearing room on the 40-man roster for Stripling.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.