The SF Giants are reportedly keeping tabs on journeyman starter Dan Straily.
According to a report by Craig Mish, free-agent starter Dan Straily is drawing interest from multiple teams, including the SF Giants. The 31-year old has spent parts of eight seasons in the majors since debuting in 2012 but spent the 2020 season playing for the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
Straily was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 24th round of the 2009 MLB draft and quickly outperformed his draft stock. A few years later, he debuted with the A’s and became a part of their starting rotation.
In 2014, Straily was sent with a package of prospects to the Chicago Cubs in the Jeff Samardzija trade, which would begin a long career in the transaction wire. After struggling in Chicago and ultimately losing his rotation spot, Straily was shipped to the Astros that offseason. He made just 4 big-league appearances in Houston before being traded again, this time to the San Diego Padres.
The Padres though designated Straily for assignment before event making an appearance with them and he was claimed by the Cincinnati Reds prior to a resurgent 2016 season. Straily completed 191.1 innings in 34 appearances (31 starts) and maintained a solid 3.76 ERA. However, in the middle of a rebuild, his tenure in Cincy would be short-lived. The following January, he was once again traded, this time to the Miami Marlins.
After a couple of unexceptional seasons in the middle of Miami’s rotation, they unexpectedly released him prior to 2019. Claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles, Straily had an unexpectedly abysmal season. In 47.2 innings, Straily posted an unpitchable 9.82 ERA.
Following the season, Straily entered free agency but was understandably unable to find a guaranteed MLB contract. Rather than enter Spring Training on a minor-league contract, Straily chose to sign a guaranteed one-year, $800,000 deal with the Lotte Giants in Korea. The move worked out great for both sides.
While the KBO is known as an extremely hitter-friendly environment, Straily dominated the competition. In 31 starts, Straily completed 194.2 innings posted a 2.50 ERA, struck out 205 batters, and walked just 51. With an obvious hole in their starting rotation, it makes sense that the Giants would be interested in giving Straily another opportunity stateside.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was working with the Athletics during Straily’s time with the organization. The team also found success with Darin Ruf this year, another former MLB players that had a resurgent season in the KBO.
It’s unclear what Straily’s market will be, but he seems to have performed well enough to earn a guaranteed contract. As bad as he was in 2019, Straily still holds a career 4.56 ERA across 803.1 big-league innings. Given his solid MLB track-record and strong 2020 season in the KBO, he seems like a decent bet to bounceback in 2021.
The SF Giants have a number of options to address their starting rotation. While far from a top-end option, Dan Straily has been a decent back-end starter in the Major Leagues and seemed to find some more of that early-career success in a dominant season with the Lotte Giants in Korea.