Finally, the Indians made a move that helped them both in 2021 and beyond. While it wasn’t for the Pittsburgh Pirate’s Bryan Reynolds, the Tribe is getting back a player with the same number of controllable years from the Astros. Cleveland shipped back Phil Maton and Yanier Diaz in return to Houston to complete the trade.
Straw has four years of control on his contract and is rumored to have been a player the Indians are very high on. They’ve apparently also tried to acquire him in the past but to no avail. So even though this isn’t the sexiest trade imaginable, it did net the Indians a guy they’re wanted.
Maton was a solid reliever for the Indians but they’re not missing out on much with him. In his career with the Tribe, he posted a 5-3 record across 70 games, with a 4.30 ERA. In those 70 games, he pitched 75.1 innings, threw 106 strikeouts, and walked just 32. Solid stuff, but nothing that can’t be replaced.
The Tribe also sent over Diaz, who wasn’t a Top 50 prospect but was playing well in Single-A and Rookie-ball. Across four levels of baseball, that spanned the last four seasons, Diaz hit a combined .326 but did most of his damage against guys in his age group. At the time of the trade, Diaz was still at Single-A Lake County.
The Tribe got back Straw, who in 2020 was considered a Top 15 prospect for the Houston Astros. In his first full-time season with the Astros, he’s been hitting .262, with two home runs, 34 RBI, and an on-base percentage of .339. He may not be smashing home run balls, but he’s getting hits and getting on base, two things the Indians needed.
Straw is someone that can make an immediate impact in 2021 and beyond, and while Diaz was a promising prospect, so is Straw.