Giancarlo Stanton asked to be traded. So did Christian Yelich.
None wanted to be part of a Marlins rebuild. They wanted out.
Dan Straily didn’t. He wanted to stay.
“Glad they’re gone,” Straily said. “If they don’t want to be here, then good for them. They can continue their career elsewhere.”
Straily said he wasn’t insulted by his teammates’ trade requests as much as he was motivated by them. He understood that part of their reason for wanting out was because the Marlins had no intention of strengthening a starting rotation that was the 2017 team’s downfall.
And Straily was a member of that rotation, though he held his own, making a staff-leading 33 starts while going 10-9 with a 4.26 ERA.
“I get it,” Straily said. “It’s no secret. Our starting rotation last year, we didn’t exactly carry the team around. That was pretty much the talk of it. And I was a guy in that rotation.”
But Straily has a unique perspective on rebuilds that others don’t. He has been a part of several that ultimately yielded fruit.
He was a member of the 2014 Cubs who went 73-89. Two years later, the Cubs won the World Series. He was in the Astros organization in 2015 as Houston was coming off four consecutive losing seasons, including three that resulted in at least 100 losses. The Astros won the World Series last year.
Straily envisions the Marlins making the same leap, and he wants to be part of it.
“I agree with what happened, all the moves they made,” Straily said of the Marlins’ active offseason. “And I really feel that the pieces they brought in … this might flip around a little quicker [than people expect]. I’m not saying today, but things are going to flip around a little quicker than a lot of people realize, because of some of the players they were able to acquire back in those trades.”
Which is why Straily is far from disappointed he wasn’t dealt.
“I was in Chicago. I was in Houston,” Straily said. “In the years after I left, they won the World Series. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve been a part of it.”
Most are projecting the Marlins to approach 100 losses. Others have said it could take anywhere from three to five years before the team finally gets back on its feet and ends an eight-year losing drought.
Straily didn’t make any brash predictions. But he said the rebuild might not take that long.
“Just because no one’s heard of every single person, just because we’re not full of household names, doesn’t mean we’re not good at baseball,” he said. “There was a time when I was part of a rotation (the 2013 A’s) that none of us could rent a car. And we led our team to the playoffs.”
The Marlins are headed in a new direction.
Stanton, Yelich, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna were all traded.
But Straily, for one, is glad he wasn’t.
“Honestly, I was really hoping I wouldn’t get traded,” he said.
And now that the rebuild is a work in progress, Straily is happy to be along for the journey.
“You’ve heard both sides of it,” Straily said. “You’ve heard, ‘Sign me up for the rebuild,’ and you’ve heard, ‘I want out of this rebuild.’ It’s good to be no longer guessing, are they going to rebuild? We’re in it.”
STRAILY LOSES IN ARBITRATION
Dan Straily lost his salary arbitration case with the Marlins and will make $3.375 million this season.
Straily, who was asking for $3.55 million, was the second Marlin to lose his arbitration case, joining catcher J.T. Realmuto.
First baseman Justin Bour was the only one of three Marlins to win his arbitration case.