The Padres have acquired righty Dan Straily from the Astros in exchange for veteran catcher Erik Kratz, the clubs have announced. Houston had been searching for another backstop after losing presumed reserve Max Stassi to injury.
Straily, 27, is out of options and did not appear in line for a rotation job with the Astros. He was, however, competing for a spot in the Houston pen. It’s certainly possible he could function in either capacity with the Padres.
It’s been something of an uphill battle for Straily since a promising 2013 season with the Athletics, in which he threw 152 1/3 innings and compiled a 3.96 ERA with 7.3 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9. He’s only made 18 appearances (seven from the pen) since that time, with his earned run average ballooning to 6.42. He’s still young and controllable, but he’s also bounced from the A’s to the Cubs to the ’Stros as a small part of more significant trades.
Meanwhile, San Diego has been rumored to be shopping its catching depth for longer than Houston has even had a need. Derek Norris, Christian Bethancourt, and Austin Hedges look like the top three options for the Padres. Rocky Gale remains in camp, too. More than likely, Kratz — who had a minor league deal with San Diego — wasn’t cracking the MLB roster anytime soon.
The veteran Kratz looks like a true stop-gap for Houston, while the club awaits the return of Stassi. The 35-year-old has spent time in the majors in parts of the last six seasons. He was most active over 2012-13 with the Phillies, and also topped 100 plate appearances in total in 2014, but last year he played in only 16 major league games.
All told, Kratz owns a .218/.270/.397 slash with 23 home runs in 560 MLB plate appearances. That’s quite an impressive power outlay, and Kratz owns an excellent .266/.343/.473 line in his Triple-A career. (That’s not a short sample, either: he’s seen action in ten seasons, and has 1,820 plate appearances on his ledger.)
Of course, striking this deal doesn’t necessarily preclude the Astros from searching for a more significant catching addition, though that seems increasingly unlikely — particularly since the club announced that it has added Kratz to its 40-man roster. Likewise, the Pads could still conceivably deal one of their other backstops. It’s worth noting, too, that adding Straily would help ease the burden if San Diego were to find a trade partner for James Shields, though his presence hardly changes the calculus of such a significant move.
Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle first reported the swap on Twitter, noting that Straily was going and a catcher was involved. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Kratz was involved, on Twitter.
Kratz was a backup for the Jays in 2014; he was hitting .400 in ST and was very good to start the year in the majors. Then he was sent down, because Dickey liked Thole to pitch to. Even tho Kratz caught the knuckleballer flawlessly. It was a bad decision for the team.
Kratz was good D, a good hitter, with power. Also a good pinch-hitter. I know he never got a fair shot for the Royals either; their starting C just never sits on the bench: He’s crazy, and will not last near as long as he could if he took an occasional day off.
Kratz has deserved better, and I hope one day he gets a REAL chance.
I forgot to mention: Kratz calls a good game too, and knows how to use his pitchers. He is especially good with relievers, as he doesn’t nibble around the corners with power pitchers.
I hope it’s not hedges! I know it won’t happen but I hope it’s Norris and then hedges can start with Bethancourt as the backup. Most likely it’s Bethancourt though. But if that’s the case, do the Padres bring up hedges to be the backup? Probably not, he needs as many reps as he can, he can’t play every 6 days like last year. So if Bethencourt gone maybe, would hedges go to AAA and kratz join the team as a backup?? Very interesting. I really would love to see hedges thrive in SD.
I would have thought Strailey has move value than Kratz
LOL! Same here! I was just talking bad about AJ in another post and then I see this, and think he has finally fixed the C logjam, and he trades one that doesn’t even have a roster spot. lol…..
Out of options, wasn’t gonna make the team, so he woulda be gone for nothing.
As an Astros fan, not that I’m going to cry over losing Straily. If I look at the major league roster options, he was about 12th on the list in starters, and 11th in relievers. But, to get a 35 year old catcher who was on a minor league deal in return? Well, because he’s 35 he’s caught a bunch, and can probably serve as an effective backup while Max Stassi recovers. Stassi is supposed to be back by end-April. Also looks like he had a couple of decent seasons as a backup in Philly (2013/14).
Ace of Spades
That puts the padres over the top
But you have already offered the crap sandwich to the Marlins for Fernandez. How many times you gonna put up the same offer? That is a good way to get all the other teams mad at you.
Straily has been traded once a year since he reached AAA…. Hopefully for him, this is the right environment for him to flourish. I read about his potential when he was a getting traded to the Cubs, and then seen him start one game before being a part of the trade to get Fowler, but never really seen him as a fit in anyone’s rotation after all the hype.
I can TRULY see why TONS of peeps are Clamoring for you to be banned from these chats. For all of the idiotic a posts you make, you still should be allowed that freedom.
I’m pulling for Straily, a fellow Marshall University guy. Maybe Petco will be good for him. He’s the second former Thundering Herd pitcher dealt this offseason, joining Aaron Blair.
I thought the your sox had the best bull pen? Why do they need another crappy pitcher to add to the mix? Oh yeah they already have a crappy bullpen!
Wow. Straily isn’t great at all but he could be serviceable in Petco, and the cost was nothing. Kratz wasn’t even going to make the team. I don’t quite understand Houston’s thinking on this; isn’t somebody like George Kottaras or Jose Molina around that they could have gotten for free?
Straily wasn’t going to make the team, so moving him for anyone clears room on the 40 man roster. Kratz is on a minor league deal and not on 40 man,
Its over 9000!!!
You realize the Astros will most likely dfa kratz at the end of April, and also, straily was out of options and had no roster spot, he would have had to be put on waivers anyways, so really straily is basically a roster spot for no reason, probably some how ends up with the braves or reds at the end of the season
Kratz is value lies in his clubhouse presence as well as everything else . As a Phillies fan I wish him the best
I hear that Dombrowski turned down A.J. Reed for Christian Vazquez. Or something like that. 😉
No way that the Astros trade A.J. Reed, and certainly not for Vazquez. I can see them trade Jon Singleton for Vazquez though.
It was either waive Straily and get nothing in return or trade him for a backup catcher that can be used for 6 weeks. Padres did a good job of sweeping in and grabbing him. I am sure there is a place he can start in the majors, just not with the Stros.. he was out pitched by Wandy Rodriguez in the Spring. And even Wandy would be the 7th starter in the rotation.
Red Sox suck
Kratz is a good pickup when you consider the situation the Astros were in. Straily might be more comparatively talented, but Kratz fills a more immediate need for his team. Plus, unlike some backup catchers, he can hit for power from time to time.
For a minor trade probably a win win for both teams. Does make me think the Padres are going to trade 1 of their relievers soon and just use Straily to fill the spot.
Yeah this would make sense, especially with the recent talks they’ve had with the Mariners. The question is, who would they trade?
I see this as a nod to Stassi. They must think a lot of him or they go after the available and effective Norris. Heck Norris is probably an upgrade over Castro until Jason picks up his offense. Alternatively the asking price on Norris could just be too high?
It definitely is a nod to Stassi. He has impressed coaches and done well in his time in the majors. Castro has adjusted his swing and looks much better at the plate than he has in a few years. So I wouldn’t say Norris is an upgrade. Besides Padres would probably want Fisher or Stassi or White or Reed (LOL) and the Stros aren’t parting with any of those anytime soon….