MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins gave up two of their top pitching prospects Thursday to acquire immediate help for the rotation, landing right-hander Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds acquired right-handers Luis Castillo and Austin Brice, both highly regarded prospects in Miami’s thin system. In addition, Cincinnati gets minor league outfielder Isaiah White.
Castillo, 24, in 2016 was the Marlins’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year and the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year. He went a combined 8-6 with a 2.26 ERA in 26 games and 24 starts for Class A Jupiter and Class AA Jacksonville, and his ERA ranked third among all minor league pitchers with at least 24 starts. Castillo was rated by Baseball America Miami’s second-best prospect and fifth-best by MLB.com.
“Castillo has a power arm, and we believe he is trending up. We think he has a very good chance to start or be a late inning reliever,” Reds’ President of Baseball Operation/General Manager Dick Williams said. “He has improved his control over time while demonstrating plus velocity, which he can maintain deep into a game. He has the impact potential we were looking to add.”
Brice, 24, is rated by MLB.com the Marlins’ ninth-best prospect. He made his Major League debut in 2016, holding opponents to a .173 batting average in 15 games out of the Marlins’ bullpen and was a Southern League All-Star for Class AA Jacksonville. Last season he combined to post a 4-7 record with a 2.74 ERA in 32 appearances and 13 starts split between Jacksonville and Class AAA New Orleans.
Williams said, “Brice showed promise as a starting pitching prospect in the minor leagues. We think that starting is a definite possibility given his size, durability and mix of pitches. Given the success he had as a reliever last year, we will evaluate him there as well. He represents another exciting young pitcher that adds to our depth.”
White, 20, was ranked as Miami’s 10th-best prospect by Baseball Prospectus and 16th-best prospect by MLB.com. In 2 seasons as a professional since being drafted in 2015 by the Marlins in the third round, he combined to hit .247 with 18 stolen bases in 89 games with Rookie GCL Marlins and Class A Batavia.
“White is a very athletic player with plus speed who is strong defensively. We liked him in the draft in 2015 and are excited to add another young athlete with upside to the system,” Williams said.
Straily had the best year of his career in 2016, when he went 14-8 for the last-place Reds with a 3.76 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 34 games.
Straily has a career record of 27-21 with a 4.24 ERA. He tied for the most homers allowed in the NL last year with 31, but as a flyball pitcher he’s a good fit for spacious Marlins Park.
Miami will be Straily’s fifth team since he broke into the majors in 2012. He has also pitched for Oakland, the Cubs and Houston.