Reds trade starting pitcher: 5 things to know

Reds starter Dan Straily pitches against the Brewers on Sunday, July 17, 2016, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

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Reds starter Dan Straily pitches against the Brewers on Sunday, July 17, 2016, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Two surprising things happened Thursday in baseball.

The Reds traded away a starting pitcher, and their general manager admitted it was something of a risk.

Here are five things to know about Cincinnati’s decision to send Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins for three prospects.

1. GM Dick Williams said the trade had been percolating for quite some time, but he did not initially think it would happen.

“Over the course of a couple months they came back around and asked a couple times here and there and I sensed that their interest was increasing over time,” Williams said. “We got more serious over about the last two weeks.”

2. In return for the team’s 2016 BBWAA Most Outstanding Pitcher, the Reds got right-handed pitchers Louis Castillo and Austin Brice along with outfielder Isaiah White.

The 24-year-old Castillo is rated Miami’s No. 2 prospect by Baseball America. He spent most of last season at advanced Single-A while also starting three games at Double-A.

Brice made his major-league debut last season and posted a 7.07 ERA in 15 games with the Marlins. He could be considered for a starting role some day, but Williams said he expects to see him compete for a role in the Reds bullpen this spring.

Baseball Prospectus ranked White, 20, the No. 10 prospect in the Marlins’ organization. He is less than two years removed from high school, and Williams said he could start in rookie ball or perhaps in Dayton with the Single-A Dragons.

“White is a very athletic player with plus speed who is strong defensively,” the GM said. “We liked him in the draft in 2015 and are excited to add another young athlete with upside to the system.”

3. And yet they hated giving up Straily, a waiver-wire pickup last year who turned into perhaps the most pleasant surprise of a mostly depressing season.

“It was a very tough decision given what Dan did for this club last year,” Williams said of the pitcher who went 14-8 and posted a 3.76 ERA. “He really stepped up for us, but you really have to make decisions with long term in mind, and I am committed to bringing us back to championship baseball.

“You’ve got to take risks, and we thought this was an opportunity to trade someone that had built up a lot of value last year and could bring back some impact talent we just couldn’t pass on.”

4. With Straily gone, the Reds have three established starters — Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan. Three of the team’s top four prospects according to Baseball America are starters who pitched in Triple-A last season, and now there are two spots for Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed to compete for instead of one.

“We just looked hard at our needs going forward and what we think is going to take to get this team back to the championship level and we felt comfortable taking this chance to add the prospects we added in this deal,” Williams said.

5. The Reds may not be done adding to the club before spring training.

Although they have plenty of starters, they aren’t necessarily planning to go to spring training with only the three established starters.

“I think we will definitely continue to monitor that market,” Williams said. “I would feel better about having someone else in the mix from an innings perspective. We’re still very hopeful those young pitchers will get a chance to pitch in the big leagues this year and make an impact but I do think there’s a chance we’ll add someone else just to make sure we have options.”

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