In somewhat of a surprise move, the Miami Marlins released veteran starting pitcher Dan Straily just three days before the start of the regular season, the team announced Monday.
The 30-year-old right-hander was expected to be the most experienced member of the young Marlins’ rotation this season, and had settled for a $5 million contract this season to avoid arbitration. But the team instead says it was impressed enough with the young arms this spring that it decided to go all-in with their inexperienced, but talented starters.
“We talked about competition and taking the best 25 south with us [to Miami],” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told the Sun-Sentinel of the roster. “We had seven [starting pitchers] competing going into spring and the competition did not disappoint.
“We saw the growth of Trevor Richards (25), Pablo Lopez (23) and Sandy Alcantara (23) — these guys came ready to make the team. Caleb Smith (27) was recovering from injury, but everything was great with his recovery. We just wanted to monitor and make sure that he was getting the workload that he needed to be sharp and to help us as we approached Opening Day.”
Jose Urena, 27, is tabbed as the top starter for Miami, and the youth movement leaves Straily as the odd man out after the team decided to move Wei-Yin Chen to the bullpen a day earlier.
Straily, who was traded from the Cincinnati Reds before the 2017 season, produced respectable numbers in his two seasons with the Marlins — going 15-15 in 56 starts with a 4.20 ERA. But he struggled on the mound this spring, allowing six home runs in five starts with a 5.94 ERA.
Since coming up with the Oakland A’s in 2012, Straily has pitched for five teams in seven seasons — including the A’s (2012-14), Chicago Cubs (2014), Houston Astros (2015), Reds (2016) and the Marlins.
In seven big-league seasons Straily is 42-36 with a 4.23 ERA in 142 appearances (132 starts), with a career-best season in 2016 with the Reds (14-8, 3.76 ERA).
—Field Level Media