Padres acquire RHP Straily from Astros

San Diego sends catcher Kratz to Houston

March 29th, 2016

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres added some pitching depth at very little cost Monday evening, acquiring right-hander Dan Straily from the Astros for catcher Erik Kratz.

Straily, who arrived in camp Tuesday, is not a lock to make the club, and the Padres haven't yet decided on his role. He could factor into their plans as either a starter or a reliever. Kratz, meanwhile, would not have made the roster and would have likely exercised his opt-out clause.

"It gives us an option to look at both our rotation or the bullpen, and we'll kind of throw him into our mix and see where it goes," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said of Straily. "But I think no promises for him, obviously, whether he makes our club or not."

Straily -- who has allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits in 12 innings this spring -- is out of options, meaning the club must place him on waivers if he doesn't make the team. He was never likely to make the Astros' roster, but Straily knew from Day 1 that his audition in Kissimmee was for more than just one club.

"I knew I was pitching for all 30 teams, including the Astros," Straily said. "It ended up being here. So coming into the season, I knew what I had to bring to the table and was hoping somebody wanted it."

Straily will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, but the rest of his pitching schedule remains up in the air. His arrival gives the Padres the kind of end-of-spring pitching depth that could be a precursor for another deal.

Preller and the Padres have plenty to resolve before they finalize their Opening Day roster on Sunday morning. Two rotation spots and four bullpen spots remain up for grabs.

"With him being out of options, that adds another layer to things," Preller said. "Come in, see how our roster stacks up. We have some moving pieces right now."

In four appearances for the Astros last season, Straily posted a 5.40 ERA. He spent most of the year at Triple-A Fresno, going 10-9 with a 4.77 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning over 22 outings.

In his career, Straily has been mostly a three-pitch pitcher (fastball/slider/changeup), but he recently added a curveball, which he feels could be the key to his success as a starter. He has only appeared in seven Major League games as a reliever, but four of his five outings this spring were out of the bullpen. In his lone start -- Friday against the Braves -- Straily tossed four no-hit innings.

"I'm a starter, but at the same time, any way you can help the team," Straily said. "The goal is to be a Major League pitcher, not to be a Triple-A starter."

For Straily, the Padres clubhouse offered a handful of familiar faces. He's switched clubs before, but he's never joined a team with so many familiar faces from his past stints with the A's and Cubs. Straily was able to name eight former teammates, including former rotation mate Tyson Ross and catcher Derek Norris, who gave him a bear hug when he arrived on the practice field.

Straily also fit right in with the Padres, given his thick beard.

"I asked last night when I was getting ready to leave, I was like, 'Should I shave?'" Straily said. "When you go to a new club, I was like, I'm just going to go feel it out. I walked out here and saw everyone's beards, and I was just like, 'OK.'"