RedHawks ship Pierce, McCallum to Schaumburg
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks made their first big move of the offseason Thursday as the Northern League baseball club announced a four-player trade. The RedHawks sent catcher Kirk Pierce and shortstop Geoff McCallum and a player to be named later ...
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks made their first big move of the offseason Thursday as the Northern League baseball club announced a four-player trade.
The RedHawks sent catcher Kirk Pierce and shortstop Geoff McCallum and a
player to be named later to Schaumburg in exchange for right-handed pitcher Hank Woodman and outfielder Steve Foley.
While the rights to the players have changed hands, it's not certain that Woodman or Pierce will play for their new teams.
"Woodman's struggling with it, but I think he'll come around," RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. "We will work it out until both teams can get satisfied."
Pierce said he's not going to Schaumburg and will retire from professional baseball.
"I kind of feel like I was forced into it," Pierce said. "I didn't have a choice and they say I have to play at the place they designated me to."
Pierce cited family reasons for his unwillingness to play for the Flyers. He resides in Fargo with his wife Mara and daughter Katlyn.
Pierce said he would have been more receptive with
a trade to Sioux Falls,
Winnipeg or St. Paul because of their closeness to Fargo.
"I'd rather be a family man than chase a dream in this league," Pierce said.
Pierce, 29, posted strong numbers for the RedHawks last summer, batting .318 with 19 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs and 63 RBI in his third year with the club.
"This is the best place I've played and my statistics showed it," Pierce said. "I felt very comfortable playing at home. I love playing here and I'm sorry it got cut short. I loved the fans and the community."
Simunic said he made the trade for a number of reasons.
First, he wanted to bolster the team's startng pitching, which has already lost two key performers from last season. Right-hander Justin Fletshcock retired and left-hander Alex Lontayo is close to a deal with Detroit Tigers' organization.
Woodman, 30, had a 6-5 record with a 3.97 ERA for the Flyers last season, including 89 strikeouts in 122.1 innings.
"From what we saw of Woodman at the end of last year, he's a strong pitcher with a power arm," Simunic said. "We need a power arm in our rotation."
Simunic said he thinks Foley can give his team versatility in the outfield and envisions him batting near the top of the lineup. Foley, 27, hit .282 last year and scored 60 runs. He led Schaumburg in six offensive categories.
"I like the fact that he can score runs," Simunic said. "And he's got fresh legs. He can run."
The move reunites McCallum, 25, with Schaumburg manager Andy McCauley, who also coached McCallum in the Frontier League. McCallum hit .258 with 11 doubles, one triple, three homes runs and 32 RBI last season.
The trade also has cleared the way for rookie Brian Sprout at shortstop.
Sprout, who is currently playing winter ball, is expected to return to the RedHawks after spending most of last season with Joliet.
"We think Sprout has a chance to be rookie of the year in the league," Simunic said. "Hopefully, he can get it done. We think he can."
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