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Trade Tactics, Part 4: Dan Straily

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Straily has timed his hot streak perfectly to draw some appeal on a market of lousy starting pitching options.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Trade Tactics is a weekly series covering 2018 trade candidates on the Miami Marlins and their potential destinations. We cover each player by completing a breakdown of the player skills and his strengths and weaknesses. We also identify potential trade sites and reasonable trades that could be completed with those teams.

Painful as it sometimes is to lose recognizable players, our hope is that you enjoy this upcoming time period and the moves that allow this franchise evolve into a world championship contender. Please include your comments and potential trade ideas as its great to hear from the fans as well.


Exhibit D: Dan Straily

Dan Straily has been a lesson in perseverance for pitchers everywhere. Straily was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2009 Draft. Being a 24th-round pick, expectations where extremely limited. He managed to show strikeout ability through his minor league career despite barely scratching 92 mph on his fastball. He leaned on solid secondary pitches (average change and slider) and extremely low walk totals on his way toward great success and eventually get the call to the majors.

In 2012 and 2013, Straily posted a sub-4.00 ERA in consecutive seasons, but he settled in and had his best season with the Reds in 2016. The Marlins acquired him the following January in the Luis Castillo trade in hopes that he could thrive in the pitcher-friendly confines of Marlins Park. He showed that he could be an innings-eater and reliable rotation piece for a team that hasn’t had many of those in recent years. Straily made 34 starts and completed 181 innings.

Straily wants to be a Marlin. Despite “the Purge” that occurred this offseason, he reiterated his desire to be here for the long haul when questioned during spring training. In doing so, he has shown loyalty, a rarity in today’s game when many players are focused only on their financial compensation.

It is for this reason that if we are going to trade Straily, we trade him responsibly to someplace where he can continue to grow his career and finish in style. This sends a message throughout the league that loyal players will be treated with care, even when circumstances force a franchise to move its veterans.

The Marlins and Straily are on different paths and he is a guy that can help the rebuild in this manner: by bringing back valuable depth in a trade. As we consider his destinations, let’s remember that he is still under 30 and he has two arbitration eligible years remaining.

Current Tool Grades

Fastball: 45

Slider: 55

Changeup: 50

Command: 50

Overall: 50

Strengths

Straily is all about grit on the mound. He has a sturdy, lean frame and a very durable arm, the stint on the disabled list this spring being the first of his professional career. He uses a three-quarters deliver and coiling action in his delivery to create deception. With solid variance between his fastball and slider, he can pose challenges for hitters. His slider has multiple breaks ranging from a tight horizontal break to a slurve type break, yet with great depth and late bite. This, combined with the coiling action, causes hitters to be fooled more often then you would assume by a pitcher of his repertoire.

Straily’s command is usually pretty good, so this allows him to rack up strikeouts. He kept his walk rate at just under 10 percent over the last 3 years combined, which is very reasonable for a major league pitcher. He also has held hitters to a .233 BAA over the last 3 years and his BABIP’s are usually significantly under league norm (.250 BABIP in 2015).

When accounting for all these positives, there will be a market—albeit somewhat limited—for Straily’s services.

Weaknesses

There is no upside left in Straily—he’s a back-end starter on most contending clubs. There are a multitude of concerns, chief among them being his below-average fastball velocity at 90-91 mph. He has to have pinpoint control to be successful.

He has not done that this year and the results have been scary. We are talking a FIP of 5.43, walking 11.1 percent of opposing batters, and a 1.35 WHIP. Though his ERA is a respectable 4.29, these peripherals tell us to expect some regression unless he makes tangible improvements.

Potential Trade Destinations: Angels

The Angels need Straily after losing Garret Richards, Nick Tropeano, and JC Ramirez to elbow injuries. They don’t have any experienced starting pitching options for a talented team that is built to win now. Deadline moves must be made to go for it.

Straily is a fly ball pitcher with a 46 FB% over his major league career, so the environment that he pitches in can dramatically affect results. Angel Stadium suits him:

MLB Park Factors (above 1.000 favors the hitter, below 1.000 favors the pitcher)

17th In Runs: .952 Park Factor Rate

16th In HR: 1.039 Park Factor Rate

27th In Hits: 0.899 Park Factor Rate

The Trade: Matt Thiass and Michael Hermosillo for Dan Straily

In this trade, the Marlins are acquiring Matt Thiass, a hit-first first baseman with an extremely high aptitude bat. Thiass projects as a .360 OBP guy with 30-40 double production and probably 15-20 home runs. He has excellent makeup and will always become better than he was the year before.

Hermosillo bolsters the package with a helpful fielder. He has an above-average speed grade and it helps him maximize his fielding instincts. He always looks fluid out there despite not having great tools. The best part about him is he can hit a little. I see him as a .260 hitter with 15-18 HR/20-30 2B power. Far from an automatic out.

Potential Trade Destinations: Athletics

Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

This is not the norm for Oakland. They are only 3 12 games out of the second AL Wild Card spot, even closer than the Halos.

The Athletics should be buyers, specifically in the starting pitching department. They have at times relied too heavily on “Quadruple-A” arms (Blackburn, Bassitt, and Gossett) without Straily’s track record.

The fit is PERFECT. Let’s not forget Straily’s affordability and controllability. This is a no-brainer for the A’s to show the league and their players that they are in this fight a year ahead of schedule.

Oakland’s park factors for your consideration:

MLB Park Factors (above 1.000 favors the hitter, below 1.000 favors the pitcher)

28th In Runs: 0.790 Park Factor Rate

29th In HR: 0.698 Park Factor Rate

25th In Hits: 0.921 Park Factor Rate

The Trade: Franklin Barreto and Sheldon Neuse for Straily

This trade is more of a longshot, but helped by a log jam in the middle infield that blocks Barreto from major league opportunities. Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien are everyday players with Chad Pinder looking like an immediate successor to Lowrie when he reaches free agency next winter. Barreto can play either shortstop or second base for the Marlins. He also has a ton of power potential and he can hit. There is some swing-and-miss in his game, but he is only 22 and his ceiling remains very high.

Neuse is struggling this year, but that appears to be an aberration. He has always hit above .290 in the minors previously. The 23-year-old possesses an advanced bat that can be selective and drive pitches. He has some limitations in the field from a first-step quickness standpoint, but the potential for 25-plus homer totals in the big leagues overrides those concerns.


We hope you enjoyed this installment of the Trade Tactics series here at Fish Stripes.

Hey, let’s hear from you, the fans, about who you might think would be a good trade candidate and I’ll do a breakdown. Thank you for reading and look out for another piece on Jorge Guzman this week.