The trade deadline is less than a week away, and the Yankees need starting pitching. Clearly, Domingo German isn’t going to cut it in the rotation anymore, and was finally sent down to Triple-A to work on his mechanics. In the meantime, the Yanks are trying to get back atop the AL East, and could use some pitching upgrades to make that happen.
Jon Heyman reported over the weekend that the Yankees and Marlins had briefly discussed starting pitcher Dan Straily, who currently holds a 4.02 ERA over 15 starts this season. The 29-year-old righty has turned in five quality starts in a row, and could be slightly increasing his trade stock as the Marlins look to dump more pieces and accumulate more prospects for their rebuild (sorry, not supposed to use that word). Whatever Derek Jeter is calling the current situation in South Beach, they are certainly willing to listen to any trade that comes their way. Based on the return packages they received for assets like Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, Straily might be able to be acquired for a bargain price. The big question is, would Straily be worth it?
The recent numbers have to be encouraging to Brian Cashman, and maybe that is what prompted the call to Jeter and the Marlins. In those past five quality starts, Straily hasn’t allowed more than five hits in an outing, and has only surrendered two home runs. The homers allowed is the major hiccup for Straily, and the fact that he hasn’t allowed a dinger in his past three starts is a good sign. But is that enough to trust him in the AL East, where ballparks are far more friendly to hitters than Marlins Park? Probably not.
Recent outings aside, Straily is still averaging 1.5 home runs allowed per nine innings, which is the same rate he finished with in each of the past two seasons. Translate those numbers to the AL East, and it would look even uglier. There is also the control issue for Straily. He seemed to be improving in that department in 2016 and 2017, but his walk rate this season is back up to 4.3 per nine innings, which hasn’t exactly improved during his current successful stretch. Despite the five-straight quality starts, Straily has still walked 12 batters over that span.
The Yankees already have a starter who is prone to giving up the long ball in Masahiro Tanaka, but at least Tanaka has solid control and can sacrifice a home run with the bases empty every now and then. Straily, who issues free passes and gives up home runs at an alarming rate, could potentially be a disaster in the Bronx.
Like the report from Heyman stated, the two sides weren’t close on any kind of structured deal. Cashman was likely doing his job and checking in on a starter who has been better of late, and who is on a team that is willing to move anyone on the current payroll. That could very well be as far as these talks go, which likely isn’t the worst idea for the Yankees. Straily can eat up innings, but he also led the league in homers allowed two seasons ago, and holds an identical HR/9 this season. That’s something the Yankees probably want to avoid.