New Manchester Marauder GM Matt Bowling has had the checkbook out in recent weeks as the club has been in heated contract talks with a number of players. Manchester began by inking Amancio Montarroio to a three-year deal averaging $18 million per season. Amancio also seemed open to returning to his original position of second base as the Marauders look to potentially acquire a slugging corner infielder next year. “I couldn’t even remember where my second baseman’s glove was,” said the new second sacker, “Then I found it in my locker under that huge pile of cash I’ve been keeping there.”
Meanwhile “Kitty Kat” Azuma was sent packing, as the team acquired Deron Ross and a minor leaguer in exchange for the Japanese closer. Pressed for the logic behind the trade, Bowling told the press, “We just can’t afford a guy who pitches one inning and was set to make $20 million a year at age 36.” At the same time, team leader and backstop Pedro Chavez was signed to a one year $9 million deal and aging DH Steve Beck was asked to return at $8 million next year with another year as a team option. The Marauders also signed Terrence Bianchini and Sergio Ramirez to small contracts.
While Manchester has been getting its veterans into place, the team has struggled with some of its youngsters. The fans who had started counting Cal Ripken III’s consecutive game streak were quickly disappointed. Paling in comparison to his Iron Man father, the younger Ripken barely made it through 2 weeks before twisting his ankle and heading for the DL with a batting average just 2 points over the Mendoza Line.
Finally, rumors continue to persist in New Hampshire that the team might be on the move at the end of the season. The city of Palo Alto continues to make overtures to land a CBL franchise and some wonder if all these newly signed veterans could be playing in Silicon Valley next year and wearing forest green.