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(LEAD) KBO's Giants bring back ace Dan Straily for 2nd season

All News 11:20 December 03, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS Giants' earlier signings at bottom)
By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- After dominating the South Korean league in 2020, right-hander Dan Straily will be back for another go in 2021.

The Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced Thursday that Straily has signed a new one-year deal worth US$1.2 million, which includes a signing bonus of $300,000.

The Giants said Straily will also be in line for performance-based incentives. They didn't disclose the exact amount, but U.S. media reported Thursday that he can make up to $500,000.

In this file photo from Oct. 18, 2020, Dan Straily of the Lotte Giants pitches against the NC Dinos during the bottom of the first inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Changwon NC Park in Changwon, 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The former major league starter went 15-4 with a 2.50 ERA in 31 starts and led the KBO with 205 strikeouts in 194 2/3 innings. Straily became the 10th pitcher, and only the second foreign hurler, in KBO history to surpass the 200-strikeout mark in a season.

Straily also led the league in walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP) with 1.02, while ranking second in ERA and third in innings pitched. Opponents only batted .209 off Straily, the lowest number in the KBO by 23 points.

Straily posted 7.51 wins above replacement (WAR), the second-highest WAR ever by a first-year foreign pitcher in the KBO.

The 31-year-old endeared himself to his new teammates and fans by throwing himself into Korean baseball culture. He famously made T-shirts bearing images of his teammates, which then became collector's items among Giants diehards. Straily once brought a gong and clappers into the dugout to liven up the bench, as KBO clubs continued to play without fans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The KBO later asked the Giants to remove the gong, but Straily told Yonhap News Agency that the instrument kept traveling with the Giants the rest of the season and that the players strike it in the clubhouse after every win.

KBO clubs are each permitted to carry up to three foreign players, with a maximum two pitchers. Before re-signing Straily, the Giants had also retained shortstop Dixon Machado in November. Machado will make $650,000 in 2021, and if the Giants pick up their option for 2022, he will earn $800,000.

The Giants then newly acquired former major league pitcher Enderson Franco later in November on a one-year deal worth up to $500,000 with incentives.

In this file photo from Sept. 22, 2020, Dan Straily of the Lotte Giants smiles on his way back to the dugout after completing the top of the third inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game against the KT Wiz at Sajik Stadium in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)


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