The most experienced Marlins starting pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen, was moved to the bullpen this weekend. We wake up Monday morning to find the second-most-experienced, Dan Straily, on his way out of the organization entirely.
As first reported by SiriusXM/Five Reasons Sports Network host Craig Mish, Straily has been released.
To a true professional and great person, thank you for everything Dan. pic.twitter.com/5cKuPY8Hmg— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) March 25, 2019
He will remain on release waivers until 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, where other MLB teams can claim him while absorbing his full $5 million salary. Otherwise, he will enter free agency and receive 45 days’ termination pay from the Marlins, which still saves them more than $3.7 million. In either case, his departure will drop their 2019 Opening Day payroll below $80 million, neck-and-neck with the Pirates for lowest in the National League.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro adds that the Marlins had been quietly shopping Straily throughout Spring Training. Reaching the end of the Grapefruit League with all the other rotation options fully healthy, they have now taken an aggressive step to resolve the logjam.
The 30-year-old did not perform well in spring starts, though he explained how he wasn’t focused on results, given that he felt there was a rotation spot reserved for him regardless. Whoops.
Straily arrived in Miami two-plus years ago coming off a solid 2016 season. Three prospects were sent to the Reds in the trade, most notably right-hander Luis Castillo.
The soft-tossing former 24th-round draft pick made a career of out-performing his peripherals, and that has continued to some extent (4.20 ERA, 4.79 FIP with Marlins). When new ownership began a full-scale teardown during the 2017-2018 offseason, he was vocal about wanting to ride out the process and provide veteran leadership.
However, after receiving a raise in his second year of arbitration eligibility, Straily is no longer a great value for a low-payroll club. In speaking to the media in Jupiter Monday morning, president of baseball operations Michael Hill implied that the Marlins considered non-tendering him last November.
“I think ultimately it made the most sense to carry him into spring training because we had a lot of questions to be answered,” Hill said.
The sudden move opens an extra spot on the 40-man roster. Perhaps you’ll see them upgrade at backup catcher with a waiver claim. Expect the Fish to fill Straily’s projected Opening Day spot with a more conventional reliever.