A few thoughts as I head for the Winter Meetings in Orlando where I will be located at Trade Show Booth 1817 with talented Kentucky artist Gary Cieradkowski.
DRAFT--It always is interesting to see which former Independent players get chosen during the Rule 5 draft, giving them a fresh start with a new major league organization.
ADLEMAN--The biggest news in the Indy world in recent days is that Cincinnati's Tim Adleman has received a $100,000 bonus and a contract worth slightly more than $1 million to pitch for the Samsung Lions in Korea. This right-hander, who spent 2012 and 2013 in Independent leagues (Lincoln and El Paso in the American Association and New Jersey in the Can-Am League), led the parent Reds in both innings pitched (122.1) and strikeouts (108) last season.
WELCOME BACK CHRIS COSTE--One of the best names ever to wear an Independent uniform, catcher Chris Coste, is going to be Fargo's (American Association) hitting coach next season, returning to the RedHawks for whom he played for four years ('96-'99). Coste's story celebrates perseverance in that he was in the minor leagues for 11 seasons before finally reaching the majors with Philadelphia at the age of 33 in 2006.
SPRING TRAINING INVITATIONS--The normal count of former Independent Baseball players in major league spring training camps runs about 50 these days. The records maintained by IndyBaseballChatter.com currently show 26 such players on 40-man winter rosters, and the first non-roster invitation that we have seen belongs to former Atlantic League outfielder (Sugar Land and Camden) Jeremy Barfield, who was signed by Boston last summer. The son of former major leaguer Jesse Barfield, who is 29, hit 27 homers at Sugar Land one year ago, and bettered that mark by one in 95 games in the Red Sox system. He hit 27 at Double-A Portland and one at Triple-A Pawtucket. More invitations will trickle in in the weeks to come.
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Friday, December 08, 2017
HEADING TO THE WINTER MEETINGS
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.