Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fish sign former big league infielder

De Caster played three games with Pittsburgh

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A busy week of wheeling and dealing ended with the Winnipeg Goldeyes making yet another tweak to the roster.

The American Association club announced the signing of infielder Yurendell de Caster Friday morning. The 32-year-old, a 14-year veteran, reached the Major Leagues in 2006 (he played three games with the Pittsburgh Pirates) and has been at or near the triple-A level for the better part of seven seasons.

"He has a lot of experience and he made it to the big leagues," Goldeyes manager Rick Forney said in a club statement.

"He can play multiple positions, but right now, for our club, we see him fitting in at first base and hitting in the middle of the lineup."

De Caster is no stranger to the brand of independent ball the Goldeyes play.

In 2009, he played 37 games with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, hitting .344 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI. He's also represented the Netherlands in the 2008 Summer Olympics and at the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic tournaments.

With Reynosa of the Mexican League last season, de Caster hit .338 with six home runs and 47 RBI in 90 games.

The move comes thanks to the sudden departure of veteran infielder Scott Thorman, who informed the Fish this week that he was headed to Yucatan of the Mexican League.

Prior to that, Forney had already shuffled around other pieces of the roster, shipping veteran outfielder Cristian Guerrero to Sioux Falls in favour of bringing back Jon Weber, and trading infielder/catcher Louis Ott to Kansas City to make room for other players.

With the start of the season less than a month away and a key veteran spot suddenly vacant in his lineup, Forney moved quickly to get de Caster's name on a Goldeyes' contract.

Winnipeg retains Thorman's indy playing rights, so should he wish to continue playing following the Mexican season (which ends in July), Forney will have the option of bringing him to Manitoba or moving him for other assets.

 

adam.wazny@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 21, 2012 C8

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