The San Diego Padres have acquired right-handed pitcher Dan Straily from the Houston Astros in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle and Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune were the first to report the deal and it was confirmed by the teams.
The deal between the two parties helps both players. Straily was out of minor league options and would have had to make the major league club. Meanwhile, Kratz signed a minor league deal, but probably would not have made the team, which means he would have been released or option to Triple-A El Paso as a veteran.
By joining the Padres, Straily will compete for a reliever spot at the least, but the team could give the 27-year-old a look as a starting pitcher at some point during the 2016 season. Regardless, Straily will still have to fight for an Opening Day job.
“From our standpoint, he’s going to come in (Straily will report to camp Tuesday), and we’ll see how our roster stacks up,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller said. “We have some moving pieces right now. … This last week (of spring training), every team has a bunch of different directions to go in terms of setting a roster.”
Even after dealing Kratz, the Padres still have three catchers in camp. They have starter Derek Norris, backup Christian Bethancourt and third string catcher Austin Hedges. Unless a trade is made, Hedges will open the season with Triple-A.
Kratz, a 35-year-old hit one homer across 18 games in the Cactus League with the Padres this spring. Over six big league seasons that have accounted for 192 games, Kratz has hit .218 with 23 home runs for the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals.
On Friday, Straily flashed serious potential in his last appearance for Houston. With Padres special assignment scout Steve Lyons in the crowd, Straily tossed four no-hit innings. The trade on Monday marked the third time Straily has been moved in less than two years.
In 22 starts for Triple-A Fresno in 2015, Straily went 10-9 with a 4.77 ERA. He posted a 5.40 ERA across four games for the Astros at the big league level.