Busy month offers big swings, huge trades

May has been a hectic month in the PGBL, with the top teams asserting themselves and making major trades. The first of the big deals saw star second baseman Robinson Cano move from Tijuana to Dublin.

The Guinness picked up Cano along with Matt Garza, Jon Jay and Jonathan Broxton in exchange for Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, Jedd Gyorko, Jon Gray and a bevvy of high draft picks. In his first 12 games with Dublin, Cano hit .396 with a .921 OPS.

Richards-EncarnacionThe next big move came when Calgary pulled off an intradivisional deal to get Edwin Encarnacion and Howie Kendrick in a seven-player swap with British Columbia. The Bucs got a solid return headlined by Garrett Richards and Alex Gordon.

Other deals saw the Maple Leaf-leading Ottawa Argonauts pick up Brett Gardner from Tijuana for James Shields, Confederate-leading Compton add Coco Crisp from the T-Swiggers, and the Cactus-leading Oakland Athletes acquire Adam Lind, Brandon Crawford and Angel Pagan in two separate deals.

Ottawa, Oakland and Compton all enter June with 36 wins, with big surges keying the Argos and Athletes. Ottawa has won 14 of 17 to take a 3 1/2-game lead over the Roughnecks. Oakland used a 14-game streak to build an 11-game advantage on Las Vegas.

The tightest race is in the Confederate, where the Outlawz are 1 1/2 in front of St. Louis, which had an 11-game surge of its own in May. Dublin is 5 1/2 games back of the Clydesdales but in the second wildcard spot in the SL.

In the Norris, the tables have turned as Chicago has moved three games ahead of Cleveland. The Cardinals have won nine of 11 while the Tribe endured an eight-game skid and have dropped nine of 10.

Oakland boasts some of the top individual performers as Jose Altuve owns a league-leading .379 average and 89 hits, Andrew McCutchen has 51 RBIs and Ian Kennedy and Dallas Keuchel claim matching league-best 9-1 records.

Memphis’ Jose Bautista has 22 homers to lead the way, four in front of Guinness catcher Devin Mesoraco. Tribe first baseman Anthony Rizzo is an early MVP candidate with a Rizzo .339/.453/.656 slash line that tops the league in both on-base and slugging.

Ottawa’s Collin McHugh has a 2.02 ERA to lead the PGBL, while teammate David Price has 88 strikeouts and trails Vancouver’s Chris Sale by three.




Calgary, Cleveland add big pieces

The Maple Leaf Division is shaping up to be quite a battle in 2015 and the Calgary Roughriders recently made a big move to remain a factor, packaging two players and two 2016 first-round picks to land slugger J.D. Martinez and starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks from Boston.

J.D. Martinez

Martinez will definitely bolster the Calgary lineup, while Hendricks – just selected by the Braves with the 21st overall pick – could factor in the top half of the Roughriders’ rotation. In addition to the two picks, Boston landed first baseman Tommy Medica and minor league pitcher A.J. Cole.




Phillies Braves Baseball

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Tribe dealt from an abundance of top-level prospects to add ace lefty Cole Hamels from Tijuana. Hamels struggled to a 10-16 record and 5.55 ERA in his one season with the Tequila Swiggers, but will likely move to the top of the Tribe rotation. In return, the Swiggers got pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Sean Manaea, as well as a future second-round pick.

Josh Harrison first off the board in 2015 Draft

Calgary selected third baseman, Josh Harrison, with the first overall pick of the 2015 draft. The Roughnecks acquired the pick in a trade with Boston.

There was lots of movement in the days leading to the Draft, with Twin Cities moving around several times, but ultimately landing Yoan Moncada from Cuba with the third overall pick.

With its three first round picks, Ottawa nabbed first baseman Steve Pearce and starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Collin McHugh.

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