Oakland A’s: Dan Straily to remain in Korean Baseball Organization
By David Hill
After briefly flirting with the idea of returning to the majors, former Oakland A’s pitcher Dan Straily has decided to return to the KBO.
If Dan Straily wanted, he likely would have been able to return to the majors. Teams had interest in the former Oakland A’s pitcher after his impressive season in the Korean Baseball Organization, and the Lotte Giants wanted Straily back. It was a matter of deciding what he felt would be best for his career.
Straily made his decision on Wednesday. He will be returning to the Giants, signing a deal worth $1.2 million with another $500,000 in incentives.
This decision could mean one of two things. The KBO tends to handle their offseason much earlier than Major League Baseball, so Straily may not have a better offer on the table just yet. Likewise, this could indicate that his market was not as strong as one would have thought considering his production last year.
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Considering the market for other pitchers who found themselves overseas, that would be a bit surprising. Straily dominated the KBO in 2020, posting an excellent 15-4 record with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.022 WHiP, striking out 205 batters with only 51 walks in his 194.2 innings. That type of production would normally be worth a solid deal stateside.
But it is possible that the slow moving, and somewhat depressed, market forced his hand. Straily may not have been able to get the contract he had hoped for stateside, leading him back to the KBO. A second excellent season with the Giants would further his earning potential and push the memory of his disastrous 2019 season away.
There is also something to be said for being one of the best in the league. In the majors, Straily was, at best, a middle of the rotation arm. In Korea, he is a superstar, a staff ace that blew away the competition. If the contract offers were similar, one can understand his wanting to be in a place where he could dominate.
Dan Straily may well return to the majors. It just will not happen in 2021.