Right-hander Dan Straily is returning for a second season with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization, reports Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press. Straily received some interest from teams around the Majors, but the Apex Baseball client will instead return to the KBO on another one-year deal. The pact is worth $1.2MM and includes $500K in incentives, Craig Mish of Sportsgrid tweets.
In 31 starts with the Giants in his debut KBO campaign, Straily totaled 194 frames and pitched to a 2.50 ERA and 2.97 FIP with 9.5 strikeouts, 2.4 walks and 0.46 home runs allowed per nine innings pitched. That showing garnered some interest from the Reds, Angels and Giants, among others. Based on the fact that he’s returning to the KBO, it’s possible that Straily didn’t receive a guaranteed offer, so he’ll instead re-up and take home a raise over last year’s $1MM salary.
It’s possible that Straily could have eventually found a big league deal had he waited out the Major League free-agent market, but that would’ve been a slow-going process with so many clubs still uncertain about their 2021 budgets and with many new entrants expected to hit the market thanks to today’s non-tender deadline. KBO clubs tend to get their business done much earlier in their offseason than most MLB organizations, so Straily looks to be opting for the guaranteed payday already in hand. Another strong season in 2021 would only strengthen his case for a big league return next winter.
Straily’s last big league action was disastrous, as he allowed 52 earned runs in just 47 2/3 frames for the Orioles back in 2019. However, he was a quality mid-rotation piece the three years prior, totaling 495 1/3 innings of 4.03 ERA ball with 7.8 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 in 495 1/3 innings between the Reds and the Marlins.