In case you didn’t hear, the Miami Marlins traded a whole bunch of guys this offseason! Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton, and Christian Yelich all found new homes this winter, while catcher JT Realmuto has received plenty of interest across the league but hasn’t been dealt yet.
One guy who didn’t get traded, and whose name really didn’t come up in trade talks at all this winter, was pitcher Dan Straily. The 29-year old Straily had a fine enough year for the Marlins in 2017, pitching to a 4.26 ERA over 181 2/3 innings, but he won’t be confused for a Cy Young award winner any time soon. Anyway, Straily is thrilled that he wasn’t traded (for the fifth time) this winter, and is happy that his former teammates that requested trades will be playing with other teams in 2018, per the Miami Herald.
“Glad they’re gone,” Straily said. “If they don’t want to be here, then good for them. They can continue their career elsewhere.”
Straily is also towing the company line, claiming the rebuild that the Marlins are going through is the best thing for business.
“I agree with what happened, all the moves they made,” Straily said of the Marlins’ active offseason. “And I really feel that the pieces they brought in … this might flip around a little quicker [than people expect]. I’m not saying today, but things are going to flip around a little quicker than a lot of people realize, because of some of the players they were able to acquire back in those trades.”
Well Dan, you made just over $550,000 last year, so trading you arguably would have helped the rebuild because the Marlins wouldn’t have needed to kick in any cash to pay off your contract. Straily will make $3.375 million in 2018 after losing his arbitration hearing against the Marlins, meaning that his salary is poised to become more cumbersome for the team in 2019 and 2020, his final two years of arbitration before free agency.
And not to pile on Straily, but it’s not as if he is this in demand, top of the rotation stud that is getting traded for premium prospects. In 2014, after 41 halfway decent starts, the A’s traded him to the Cubs (along with Billy McKinney, traded for Aroldis Chapman in 2016, and Addison Russell) for Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija (to upgrade the rotation Straily was a part of). The Cubs traded Straily to the Astros six months after after 13 2/3 wretched innings for Dexter Fowler, who became a key part of their World Series winning team in 2016. Straily threw just 16 2/3 innings for the Astros in 2015, spending most of the year in AAA, before he was traded to the Padres at the end of Spring Training for journeyman backup catcher Erik Kratz.
Then, the Padres lost Straily to the Reds on waivers, Straily put together the finest season of his career (3.76 ERA in 191 1/3 innings), and Cincinnati sold high on the waiver claim, dealing him to the Marlins last January for a package of three players, including stud right-hander Luis Castillo (who pitched to a 3.12 ERA over 15 starts for the Reds last year, and whom the Marlins would rather have over Straily right now every day of the week).
There’s a reason that the Marlins didn’t trade Straily (and players similar to him) this winter – and it’s not because he didn’t request a trade. It’s because he’s still relatively cheap and serviceable, just like someone like Derek Dietrich. Sure, teams will have interest, but they’re not going to give up a top 100 prospect for him.
Unless, of course, the team trading for a player like Straily is the Marlins, just like they did 13 months ago.