SACRAMENTO -- Dan Straily is seeing the early success of his former River Cats roommate A.J. Griffin with the A's, and he knows he could be just around the corner from joining him. The right-handed pitcher appears to be a good find for the A's. He was drafted by Oakland in the 24th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.Straily was promoted from Double-A Midland -- where he was selected as a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star this year -- to Sacramento on June 21. He has made two starts for the River Cats totaling 13 innings, with just two earned runs, 16 strikeouts and five walks. He had a 3.38 ERA with Midland this season, and was 3-4 with 108 strikeouts and 23 walks at the time of his promotion.He hasn't been with Sacramento long, but he has already made a strong impression on his coaches."He has big league stuff without a doubt," River Cats pitching coach Scott Emerson said. "The guy has got four weapons that are major league caliber."Straily, 23, is listed at six-foot-two, 220-pounds but he doesn't look that big. What is large is his repertoire on the mound and his potential."When he's got his good fastball command going, the sky is the limit for this guy," Emerson said. "He's got a really good top-to-bottom curveball, late slider, and a devastating changeup."The River Cats coaches believe it is just a matter of getting him experience before he could be ready for the big leagues. He appears to be well on the way."So far, so good," River Cats manager Darren Bush said. "He is aggressive, he attacks the hitters, he's got a good pitch mix, so that's good."Straily may be able to join his good friend Griffin again some time in the near future -- this time in the big leagues.
The A’s wasted no time making their first major move of the offseason, and it has a domino effect on how their 2018 lineup will take shape.
The trade of young slugger Ryon Healy to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday paves the way for left fielder Khris Davis to start getting heavy at-bats as the designated hitter, the spot left vacant by Healy.
It also points to another move the A’s want to pull off — acquiring a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who presumably can eat up those defensive innings that Davis spends as the DH.
It’s a series of moves that isn’t all that surprising given the A’s roster makeup right now. Healy, who hit .282 with 38 homers in 221 games over his first two big league seasons, is capable of playing either first or third base. But Matt Olson and Matt Chapman secured those spots, respectively, with their solid showings as rookies last season.
“We’ve obviously talked a lot since the end of the season about adding to the bullpen,” A’s general manager David Forst said on a conference call Wednesday night. “At the same time, with the emergence of Matt and Matt, on the corners, maybe Ryon needed to be somebody we might have to move ...”
It makes sense for Oakland to find a way to shift Davis from being the everyday left fielder while still keeping his 40-homer bat in the lineup. Opponents have routinely taken extra bases the past two seasons on Davis’ throwing arm, and whether they add a newcomer to play left or shift Joyce or someone else there, chances are they can benefit from better defense in left.
The A’s also feel they got an important chip back from Seattle to help bolster a bullpen that ranked 13th in the American League last season with a 4.57 ERA. They received right-hander Emilio Pagan (along with minor league shortstop Alexander Campos), and figure that the 26-year-old Pagan is someone the A’s have pegged to be an immediate contributor in their ‘pen.
A 10th round draft pick in 2013, Pagan made his big league debut in 2017 and posted a 3.22 ERA over 34 games spread over four stints with Seattle. He endured a rocky first couple of outings but, after being called up for good in the second half, eventually worked his way into a late-inning setup role. Pagan struck out 56 and walked just eight in 50 1/3 innings, numbers that surely popped out to Oakland’s front office.
He’ll likely be called upon in middle relief to help set the table for Chris Hatcher and closer Blake Treinen, as the bullpen currently looks.
Campos, just 17, spent this past season in the Dominican Summer League, and Forst said the A’s were eyeing Campos last summer when they eventually traded Yonder Alonso to the Mariners. Oakland wound up getting center fielder Boog Powell back in that deal.
Did the A’s rake in enough for Healy? As with all trades, it will take time to judge. But it’s fair to say that Healy’s departure will be felt in a clubhouse that is characterized by the emergence of many young position players, and he was a part of that group. In fact, when Healy was called up in July 2016 — knocking Danny Valencia out as the regular third baseman — he became the first of several promising position-player prospects to establish himself in Oakland’s lineup.
He rented a house in the East Bay and eventually took in Chapman, Olson and Chad Pinder as roommates. There’s a fiery side to Healy’s on-field personality that was a positive for the A’s, and watching him play Oakland as a member of an AL West rival will make for entertaining theatre.
Another storyline is how Davis takes to being a regular DH. Forst praised Davis’ approach to his game and doesn’t anticipate any problems, adding that the A’s still want to get Davis some time in the outfield.
The rumors were indeed true. Ryon Healy was on the trade block.
And now Healy has been traded...to the Mariners.
The two teams announced the trade Wednesday evening.
Oakland will receive right-handed pitcher Emilio Pagan and shortstop Alexander Campos.
Healy burst on to the scene in 2016 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI in 72 games. This past season, he finished second on the A's with 25 home runs and 78 RBI. But he had become the odd man out in the A's lineup with Matt Olson and Matt Chapman solidifying the corner infield spots.
The 25-year-old is familiar with the Pacific Northwest as he attended the University of Oregon.
Pagan, 26, made his major league debut during the 2017 season. In 34 relief appearances with the Mariners, he posted a 3.22 ERA and struck out 56 batters in 50.1 innings. Against the A's, Pagan allowed one run in 5.1 innings over three outings. A native of South Carolina, Pagan was drafted by the Mariners in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
Campos appears to be the prize of the trade, though he's a bit further away from reaching the major leagues. Just 17 years old, Campos signed out of Venezuela in 2016 and made his professional debut this past season. In 59 games for the Mariners' Domincan Summer League team, Campos hit .290/.413/.367 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 26 RBI.
MLB Pipeline ranked Campos as Seattle's No. 15 prospect.