The Cincinnati Reds have seemingly lost two starting pitchers to free agency this year with both Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani testing the free agent waters. While it’s possible that the Reds could re-sign either of them, it’s quite unlikely they bring back Bauer due to what it will cost. The team also has some internal options to replace them with Tyler Mahle, Tejay Antone, Michael Lorenzen, prospect Nick Lodolo, and perhaps their newest addition – Jeff Hoffman. But free agency is also an option for the Reds, and according to Craig Mish of MLB Network, the Reds are looking at free agent and former Red Dan Straily.

The Reds sent Straily to Miami in January of 2017 after he made 31 starts and three relief appearances with a 14-8 record, a 3.76 ERA, and threw 191.1 innings for Cincinnati in 2016. The trade worked out quite well for the Reds, who picked up Luis Castillo in the deal. For Straily, things didn’t quite go as well. In Miami he posted a 4.20 ERA, which led to a 93 ERA+ (100 is league average) in 56 starts. In 2019 he made his way to Baltimore and that’s where things went bad. Straily made eight starts and six relief appearances and posted a 9.82 ERA in just 47.2 innings with 22 walks and 22 home runs allowed. He was picked up by Philadelphia later that year, but pitched in Triple-A for them and never got back to the Major Leagues.

In 2020 Straily pitched for the Lotte Giants in the KBO in Korea. The 31-year-old dominated, posting a 2.50 ERA over 31 starts with 205 strikeouts and 51 walks in 194.2 innings pitched. That performance has drawn the eyes of multiple teams in Major League Baseball – along with the Reds, Mish is reporting that the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels are both also showing interest in the starter and that Straily will decide whether he will come back to the US to pitch within the next week.

A deal for Straily would likely be one that help fill out the back of the rotation for the Reds and provide some depth, allowing the likes of Tejay Antone and or Michael Lorenzen to settle into a role in the bullpen where they could pitch multiple innings in more high leverage situations. Monetarily, the deal would seem to be one that wouldn’t require a long term commitment or a lot of money – but that’s also just speculation by this particular writer.

27 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    I’m in favor of signing Straily for depth, but not if it’s part of an overall strategy that starts with giving up on Trevor Bauer. Yes, he’ll be very expensive. But the risk in a one or two year contract is lower than the long term deals that so often end badly with pitchers, and the upside is very high. Add Straily but pursue Bauer = good. Give up on Bauer before the hot stove even heats up? IMHO that’s bad.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s no planet in which Dan Straily prevents the Reds from going after Bauer. But let’s all be honest with ourselves here: The Reds aren’t re-signing Trevor Bauer. We all get that, right? Even on a 1-2 year deal, he’s going to get $30+M a year. The odds that the Reds are willing to sign up for that are insanely low. Heck, they haven’t even had any real discussions with him at this point. They know.

      • LDS

        Agreed, Bauer is going to be far too expensive. Mets sound as if they are going on a spending spree. And the Reds have the feel of a team shedding payroll. So it’s back to the basement for a few more years … or decades.

      • CFD3000

        I wasn’t for a minute suggesting that Straily money would preclude signing Bauer, Doug. Only that I really hope the Reds’ interest in Dan wasn’t a signal that they weren’t even going to bother talking to Bauer and his agent. I get that resigning Bauer is very unlikely, but you’ve at least got to inquire as to what it would take, right? Not asking the question because you presume to already know the answer is just dumb. Every once in a while you get an answer that surprises you – and it’s literally free to ask. But I do acknowledge that Bauer is almost certainly gone.

      • D Ray White

        We the fans know that the front office and ownership royally bungled the rebuild. Their ineptitude got us a single competitive Rona-shortened season. Meanwhile, the Braves are looking stout for years to come.

        Now, it’s back to the cellar with the Pirates. Castellini has not made good in his promise of championship baseball, much less winning one playoff series. We’re back to dumpster diving for castoffs and scrap heap types. Meanwhile, he’s made millions and watched the team valuation double of not triple.

  2. JB WV

    Strait was a thinking man’s pitcher when he was here. Can’t hurt by signing him. But if Bauer goes, I’d like to see Mahle and Lorenzen fill out the rotation. Lorenzen looked extremely comfortable pitching multiple innings and Antone could fill his spot as a late inning/multiple inning guy. Straily could do the same and add a veteran voice to the pen.

  3. Charles Edwards

    I don’t think Straley is the answer. Keep Gray. Sign a free agent in the Bauer 2020 price range. Fin some starters in the existing crop. Antone and Lorenzen pitched pretty well.

  4. Doc

    Straily had four poor to terrible years after the Reds traded him, then had one good year in AAA equivalent Korea, as I read it. Been there, done that. We don’t need a below league average starter. I’d rather see the young guys in the system get the work. OJT.

    • LDS

      The Reds off season is shaping up to be a typical Cincinnati bust. So far, they’ve acquired a young guy with zero major league experience, a below-average major leaguer that doesn’t appear to have much upside (see Doug’s article yesterday), and now contemplating a failed ML’er playing in Korea. Any obvious action on SS? Rumors involving trades for a Correa or Story? Overtures to any of the major FA SSs? May be happening but it isn’t hitting the rumor mill at this point if so. So fans, let’s not expect much for 2021. Opt for pleasantly surprised not bitterly disappointed. Hey, we still have David Bell, what could possibly go wrong.

      • Allthehype2001

        Fans never understand depth moves. All teams make them. And If Reds management doesn’t have all the big moves done by end of Nov, complain about that too. Maybe relax a little.

      • Swayback8

        Agree Allthehype2001. The young guy with “zero major league experience” was a draft pick. And the below average major leaguer is pretty equal to what they gave up. However, spending good money on a retread is not a good idea. If they can’t sign Bauer, then I’d rather them get some offense & relievers.

  5. Jerry Meeker

    Strait was an effective pitcher,not just a thrower and would be cheaper.How about the Dodger left-hander that throws 98 and iss a free agent.Add Simmons for 18 million and you’ve got your SS. Go Reds!

    • Doc

      Effective? Are we reading the same stats Doug presented since the Reds traded him away? Below average ERA+ In 2017, then got worse in 2018, then didn’t make it to a major league team. Then had a decent year in Korea, which doesn’t give me warm fuzzies when considering how he pitched for Baltimore. Nothing I see says “effective”

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Very interesting! Seems like an effective approach (if your player evaluations are good enough to make it work). 😉

  6. DaveCT

    I mentioned it on the other site, I think, but Riley Pint is available in the Rule V draft. Seems like it’s far to early to give up on an arm like that snd I’d be interested to see how DJ and Boddy evaluate him.

    • Doug Gray

      My evaluation: He’s barely pitched in Low-A, and when he has, he’s been beyond terrible and walked nearly twice as many hitters as he’s pitched innings. This would be a Josh Hamilton kind of stick in the sense that the chances he could go from where he’s been to even being able to stick in the big leagues. It makes a hail mary seem like a running back pitch.

      • Swayback8

        I agree Doug. I just read an article on The Denver Post & it doesn’t sound good. I’m all for adding as much under the radar talent as possible, but it doesn’t seem like trying to hide him on the 26 man roster is a good idea.

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    I’m not sure where Straily would fit in, at least as the roster is currently constructed. Current rotation is Gray, Castillo, Miley, Mahle and then either Antone or Lorenzen. I wouldn’t see Straily ahead of any of those, nor as a reliever. If they sign Straily to anything other than a minor league deal, I see that as a step perhaps to preparing to cut salary by trading one of the starters.

    • Doug Gray

      My theory is you slot Straily at #5 and that let’s you use Lorenzen and Antone in long relief 2-3 times a week in bigger situations. I don’t know if that’s a better option than just sticking Lorenzen or Antone in the #5 spot (or even Lodolo, for that matter) – but I believe that’s where it would at least make some sense.

  8. Sliotar


    Good discussion.

    If it’s Strailly, Miley, Mahle as 3-4-5 … the Reds perhaps stop them at 2 times through order.

    Then, Doug’s point on long relief/stretch guys really comes into play … Lorenzen, Antone, Sims can all do that … (maybe Bradley as well?).

    2021 MLB season feels right now, IMO, as “get through it as cheaply as possible, don’t burn service time/injure a real prospect”.

    Straily/Other signing gives cover to introduce Lodolo or Greene possibly in 2022 (hopefully more normalized by then).

  9. docproc

    I’m not ready to vanquish Antone to the bullpen.
    He had five seasons as a starter in the minors, sporting 39 wins and a 3.74 ERA.
    This season he had a 2.80 ERA, 11.5 Ks per 9, and a 1.019 WHIP.
    I’d rather see him in the rotation than Straily. Or Mahle or Miley, for that matter.

    • Kevin Patrick

      This is exactly what I’ve thought when I see Antone’s name mentioned… I’m like… uh…he looked pretty darn good as a starter. I don’t know if video will expose or already exposed shortcomings in Antone’s game to opposing hitters, but I would think he has proven he deserves a chance… at least at #5…at least…

  10. MK

    I watched all the KBO games that ESPN broadcast. Not only did they broadcast several games Straily pitched but also interviewed him a lot.according to Dan he was able to improve on many of his pitches especially the slider, while in Korea.

  11. doofus

    Straily– “Back to the Future?”

  12. Linkster

    Lightning rarely strikes twice. Let’s move forward and not back, unless it is on the cheap and you take a flier.

  13. Michael Smith

    Sign the man then flip him at the deadline for a future 10 starter in the NL