In case you didn't know, the MLB Lockout is in full effect, but that doesn't mean the Diamondbacks have to stop signing minor league players. Case in point, a player is allowed to sign a MILB contract during this lockout if they didn't play in the MLB in 2021, were outrighted off the 40-man roster, or played overseas. Thus, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been busy the last few weeks signing MILB players that have been invited to Spring Training.
One such player that the Diamondbacks recently signed is former MLB pitcher Dan Straily. He last played in the majors in 2019 with the Orioles. Unfortunately for him, he struggled mightily with a 9.82 ERA over only 47 2/3 innings. In fact, he gave up 22 HRs in that few innings. Thus, when the season was over and it came time to sign with another team, he decided to go somewhere else. Where he went was Korea.
From 2020-21, he played in the KBO and revitalized his career. With the Kia Giants, he pitched to a 3.22 ERA, 24.75% K-Rate, and kept the homers down over 360 1/3 innings. He literally pitched like an ace in Korea. Now, the KBO is known as extremely hitter-friendly which makes these results all the more impressive. Regardless, there's optimism that he can maintain some semblance of these results back in America. If he can, this would be a major steal for the Dbacks. After all, the Dbacks found success pursuing this route with Merrill Kelly. The 33-year old right-hander, Straily, is already pitching at Salt River Fields. Welcome to the desert Dan! May you find success here!
Some other signings
A few other signings that have been announced are the signings of Juan Centeno, Braden Bishop, and Keynan Middleton. Juan Centeno is a catcher that will provide further depth in the minor leagues. After all, the team does have Carson Kelly, Daulton Varsho, and recent 40-man addition Jose Herrera. Centeno has played in parts of 7 MLB seasons and is a career .223, .278, .323 hitter. He does provide decent defense but is nothing more than depth. Still, the 32-year old can help mentor our minor league catchers.
Braden Bishop is an outfielder who is known for playing with the Mariners. He made his MLB debut in 2019 but struggled a lot. Over his 99 MLB plate appearances, he has hit .133, .188, .156. However, with the Giants' Triple-AAA team last year, he hit .326, .388, .549. Perhaps it was a breakout? We'll see. Nonetheless, he's still on hand to provide depth in the minors and potentially cover some injuries if they occur.
Keynan Middleton is perhaps the most well-known name from this trio. He was a solid relief pitcher for his first two seasons in the Majors. He's spent the past 5 years with the Angels. Since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018, he just hasn't been the same pitcher. Perhaps Pitching Coach Brent Strom can help him rediscover his old form. The 28-year old still averages a healthy 95.6 mph on his fastball, although he had a 4.94 ERA last year. Strictly vet depth, but one can never have enough pitchers as we learned last year.