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Mississauga retools this off-season

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Mississauga retools this off-season

Post by Guest on November 16th 2013, 11:51 pm

I thought there used to be a team forum for every team. I know I wrote my team history there.

Until it's found, I'll post this article here:


One year after the Mississauga Spartans won their first NABL title, they were swept in the 2022 championship series. And that didn't set well with the team's GM Blue Pasquale. He was intent on making sure his squad stayed at the top of the NABL heap.


But there was cost to all the team's success. A literal cost. With arbitration looming, the team was projected to be several million dollars over the league's $95M salary cap.


“We had some decisions to make,” said Pasquale in a recent interview. “The most basic question I ask myself before I start planning for the following season is: Is it time to rebuild or can we compete for the title? I'll never be satisfied sitting in the middle of the pack. Either the championship window is still open or it's time to start looking towards the next one. And it wasn't a difficult decision at all. With players like Robert Bowers, Ruben Mora, David Fisher, Bruce Dean, Donald Iles, Gabriel Galvan, Lawrence McCoy and Roger McIndoe, it's pretty clear we can still be among the best teams in the league.”


So then began the delicate process of rebuilding the squad with one eye towards the product on the field and the other eye on the bottom line. “It was pretty obvious that we had probably too much of our salary commitment tied up in our pitching staff. We had signed Gabriel Galvan to big contract last year, and he's on our books for $16M. Greg Fudge was set to earn about $10M in arbitration, Mo Rodriguez was at $11.25M and wouldn't talk extension, McCoy's at $7M and we had three relievers who were all going to be over $2M.

The first thing the team did was waive backup C Chet Hammond and MR Millard Maxwell, avoiding a couple of small increases. Then the big moves started happening. Fudge and his $10M Salary was moved to Chicago for the younger Lee Holden, an outstanding OF prospect with six years of team control. Middle relievers Coy Cross, Otto Proulx and Antonio Lopez were non-tendered, saving about $6M.

Next to go was OF Craig Wilson, the Spartans fifth round pick in the inaugural draft, but a player who hasn't quite turned his potential into on-field results. Coming to southern Ontario were 1B Jorge Bustamante and minor league closer Adam Byard. “One of the really hard things to do when you're winning is to keep the farm system stocked, to keep young players coming up through the talent pipeline. You keep drafting very late, it's harder to get top-notch prospects. So we made sure we kept getting a little bit younger with each deal we made. Bustamante is going to get a shot to play 1B for us and Holden is going to get a shot at winning an OF spot.”


So now, according to Pasquale, the Spartans wanted to beef up their starting rotation a little bit. Galvan, Iles, Dean and Rodriguez had the first four rotation spots locked down. Guy Chapman would be a decent fifth and youngster Kenny Watkins probably needs another year in AAA. When Tacoma put a couple of their pitchers on the block, Patrick Clark and Roberto Torres, Pasquale snapped them up for the team's best pitching prospect Karl LaCrosse, a fine young player but still several years away from helping. “So now we have some depth. Three or four guys capable of filling in that last spot in the rotation.”


And the Spartans, in what their GM says will be their final major move before the season, traded some of that depth, moving SP Rodriguez to the Key West Pelicans for 1B Keith Weareorwear. “It's funny how things work out. Keith played in Mississauga for a couple of seasons before the redraft, and we just missed getting him back then. He was still a free agent in early February last year, and we tried to sign him, but we just didn't have the room under the salary cap.”


However, by moving Rodriguez, the move in salary neutral for the Spartans and Weareorwear will bring a right-handed threat to the team's lineup that simply wasn't there last year.


“Keith will play some 1B, he'll play some DH. Mostly he'll play batter. That's what he's best at.”


All that's left for Pasquale and his retooling is to see how this plays out in the regular season.
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Rich
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Re: Mississauga retools this off-season

Post by Rich on November 17th 2013, 7:47 am

Just post all team articles under the newspaper


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