After four seasons, the Winnipeg Goldeyes have bid adieu to longtime third baseman and fan favourite Amos Ramon.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Fish announced they had released Ramon, the 2012 American Association playoff MVP, who makes his year-round home in Winnipeg. The 30-year-old infielder was a popular figure around Shaw Park, having played in 179 games for the Goldeyes, starting in 2006 and then again between 2011 and 2013.
But roster rules forced him on the ropes at this training camp. American Association rules allow only a certain number of players with Ramon’s experience classification, and when Forney signed Ethan Hollingsworth close to the start of training camp, that meant that one of the team’s other more experienced players might have to go.
"It’s just one of those tough deals," manager Rick Forney said on Tuesday, before the Fish geared up for their final exhibition game of the year. "I wasn’t sure which way I was going to go… when Hollingsworth was available, we had to jump on it. Once we did that, it kind of limited the flexibility we had
(Full disclosure: after Ramon’s release was originally publicized, the Free Press suggested that incoming third baseman Ryan Pineda had simply won out a spot with strong pre-season performance. Not so, Forney clarified later Tuesday afternoon: "It’s not about players or positions… it was about roster rules in this league.")
The Fish also released rookie Canadian hurler David Hatt, and put relief pitcher Christian Garcia on waivers for the purpose of granting his release.
Meanwhile, the Goldeyes acquired another player, signing right-handed pitcher Chase Johnson. The 26-year-old is entering his third year of indie ball, having played for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and the Grand Prairie AirHogs last year. Between those two clubs, he went 1-1 with a 3.64 ERA and 13 saves. Johnson is a former Philadelphia Phillies draft pick, and played three seasons in their system.
In a roster-juggling move, the Fish also moved starting pitchers Matt Jackson and Nick Hernandez to the inactive list. They will be activated before they get their first starts on May 18 and 19, respectively.