Rumors have been swirling around about who exactly the Mariners are “in talks” within the Cincinnati Reds camp this off-season with the aim to sign a veteran pitcher. It is believed that Anthony DeSclafani is one of those men, but the consensus is that so too is Dan Straily.
It’s amazing how much time and effort journalists have put in, wracking their brains, trying to figure out who Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has been going after from the Reds and Tampa Rays since Jon Morosi tweeted about his sources close to this issue.
Straily may seem like a less desirable candidate to Mariners fans compared to Drew Smyly or Straily’s teammate, DeSclafani, but Dipoto is looking for someone that can further shake up last year’s rotation.
If there is one key aspect of Straily’s game that he can boast about, it’s that his game is on the right track. Last season he had a career-low ERA of 3.76 since coming into the league in 2012.
In fact, he was so much better in 2016 than 2014 and 2015 that he had four times more quality starts this past campaign than the previous two years combined. His twenty Quality starts were so many that he was ranked fifteenth in all of baseball for the most quality starts.
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But the Mariners cannot just forget Straily’s struggles in his past years. When he was being thrown from club to club like a rag doll -since 2014 he has played for four different organizations- his play dwindled.
Part of that was because he never had a regular role with the clubs he was with. If he wasn’t a starter, then he spent time as a reliever, and often, when he wasn’t good enough, he was sent to the minors.
Straily only played in eighteen big league games through 2014 and 2015, which was just a little more than half of the total games he appeared in in 2016 alone.
As a side note, Safeco’s dimensions will surely help Straily bring down his home runs allowed totals. This past year he surrendered a National League-leading thirty-one long bombs.
If Straily can continue to improve on his year where he finally had a more structured schedule -something he would also have in Seattle- than acquiring Straily might be worth thinking about. He also might come at a better cost than many of the other options out there.