Monday, February 09, 2015


This could be one of the biggest weeks in longtime Can-Am League star Chris Colabello’s baseball life since the 10-day window after he was designated for assignment by his new team, Toronto, will expire.

This means the 31-year-old first baseman-outfielder will either become a free agent or have his contract picked up by another major league team. It seems unlikely he would re-sign a minor league pact with the Blue Jays although Korea or some other foreign league could once again come into play.


What a bizarre finish to the Caribbean Series with Cuba, which only scored seven runs in its first four games and down 4-0 in the semifinals, bouncing back to oust Venezuela 8-4, then finish off Mexico 3-2 on Sunday.

Two former Independent players had great offensive series for Venezuela with catcher Jose Gil (Lincoln, NE, American Association) enhancing his free agent status by going 5-for-11 (.455) with four runs and one RBI in three appearances after hitting .328 during the winter league season and Can-Am MVP Balbino Fuenmayor (Quebec) going 7-for-19 (.368) while playing in all five games. The first baseman, now Kansas City property, had a homer and three runs batted in.

Frontier League grad Terance Marin (Evansville, IN), now in the Chicago White Sox system, was a mound standout for Mexico, picking up a win in relief and another with a six-inning start (no earned runs) against Cuba. He had 8.2 innings in all without allowing an earned run.

Free agent Gary Majewski (Sugar Land, TX, Atlantic League) hurled two scoreless innings over three appearances for Mexico while teammate Marquez Smith (Camden, NJ, Atlantic) went 0-for-5 in his two appearances. He now belongs to Cincinnati. For host Puerto Rico, Rene Rivera (Camden) caught all four games, going 3-for-16 with an RBI and lefty Jon Velasquez (Camden and Rockland County, Can-Am) had two strikeouts in his only appearance of one inning in relief. Rivera now heads to Tampa Bay’s major league camp and Velasquez to the New York Mets. Free agent Mark Serrano (Laredo, TX, American Association) was on the Venezuela roster but did not pitch.


With the help of Somerset, NJ (Atlantic League) closer and player personnel boss Jon Hunton, we can report on several players on our most recent list of free agents.

Pitcher Virgil Vasquez (Southern Maryland, Atlantic) and shortstop Vance Albitz (Lincoln) have retired as players to join the minor league systems of Minnesota and St. Louis, respectively. Veteran lefty Raul Valdes (New Jersey Jackals and Nashua, NH, Can-Am) has signed to play for Chunichi in Japan and Jarrett Grube (Southern Maryland) has inked a deal to pitch in Mexico.

THE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL INSIDER will resume in March. Request a free sample column from December in order to be automatically reminded when the column starts for 2015.

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