Canaries Finalize Blockbuster Trade
SIOUX FALLS, SD– The Sioux Falls Canaries made their first big move of the offseason on Monday morning, completing a nine player deal that would send first baseman AJ Kirby-Jones and two pitchers to the Laredo Lemurs.
In return for Kirby-Jones, pitchers Joe Testa and John Brebbia, the Canaries receive cash and a six player package, highlighted by American Association Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Strawn and speedy utility player Harrison Kain.
The Canaries receive a solid player in Harrison Kain, who hit a combined .291 with 37 stolen bases in two seasons with Laredo. His speed will be a welcomed addition to a Canaries offense that finished with the second fewest stolen bases (42) in the American Association last season. Kain will also provide the Canaries with some versatility in the field, committing just 14 errors, while splitting time at second base, third base and the corner outfield positions.
The addition of Gerardo Avila will provide a veteran presence at first base and to a Canaries clubhouse that figures to be very young in 2015. The 11 year veteran brings a .296 career batting average and 144 extra base hits to Sioux Falls after enjoying a solid season for Laredo last year. In 38 games played, Avila hit .329 with eight doubles, three homeruns, and 22 RBI.
Jeremy Strawn will provide a huge boost to a Sioux Falls pitching staff that finished with an American Association worst 5.49 team ERA in 2014. Strawn made 10 starts in 14 appearances last season for Laredo, going a perfect 9-0 with a 2.45 ERA while racking up 51 strikeouts in 73.1 innings. His three complete games were tied for the second most in the American Association last season.
Along with relief pitchers Brian Minnich and Tyler Pearson, Sioux Falls will also receive Strawn’s older brother, Josh, who has a combined 25-25 record and 4.08 ERA in four professional seasons. Strawn was an innings eater last season for Laredo, tossing 123.2 innings, the most on the staff. Pearson split time as both a starter and reliever for Laredo, going 7-8 with a 4.28 ERA in 29 appearances. Minnich made five appearances for the Lemurs, allowing just one earned run on four hits in five innings.
The Sioux Falls Canaries have also moved into the final stages of the interview process and are looking forward to announcing a new manager for the ball club in the near future. The Birds’ begin their 23rd season on May 21st-23rd in Sioux City, IA before opening their 2015 home schedule on Sunday May 24th against the Explorers. For more information about corporate opportunities or season tickets in 2015, call the Canaries at (605) 336-6060.