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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:54 pm 
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Bakersfield, CA - 10 February, 2029

Bears GM Dan Vail set the ancient hard-line telephone receiver down into its seat with a careful but exhausted clink and sighed reflexively. The final piece of the puzzle that brought his target into the Bakersfield organization was set into place, and a pair of trades that may be looked back upon as pivotal in the coming years were complete. After working tirelessly with the front offices of the Florida Featherheads and Charleston Statesmen, Vail was able to rest a bit knowing he'd secured one of the most highly regarded prospects in PEBA, 17-year-old catcher Mauro Mata out of Venezuela. The Bears had essentially worked a three-team trade, rare in PEBA transactions, by first acquiring the sixth pick in the 2029 draft in a massive trade with Florida that saw seven players change teams alongside that pick and a hefty sum of Bears' cash. In all those numbers however, perhaps the most interesting is one: one player in that trade had more than a full year of service time to his name, 31-year-old left fielder Mushanokoji Matsumoto. Far from a star, Matsumoto has played consistently for Florida in a limited role, demonstrating perhaps his most valuable skill - dependability. He joins a Bears outfield that has been in flux ever since Vail took over midseason last year. The Bears played six different outfielders in their playoff series against Neo Tokyo, having traded for two of those at the deadline. They have since traded five outfielders and now received two in trades. The Bears also acquired rookie LHP Pedro Marquis in the trade, whom will be the only LHP the Bears have available for bullpen work. The last piece the Bears added was 18-year-old 3B prospect Emílio Ibarra, formerly of the SS-A EWA Beach Imperialists. The swap with Florida is made all the more impressive after the infamous swipe of Bears legend Steve "Steve Hott" Hott from waivers after what can only be called a crucial filing error on the part of the Bears.

Florida, for all their trouble, received a bounty that was headlined by LF Eugenio Zúñiga and advanced catching prospect Roberto Ortega, whom in just one year managed to advance from second round pick to 21-year-old AA prospect by mashing SA and A level pitching to the tune of 144 and 147 wRC+, respectively. Zúñiga is a player that was never able to find a place in the crowded Bears outfield, despite doing nothing but smash AAA (and PEBA, in limited opportunities) pitching and has amassed a 140 wRC+ over 1703 ABs at the AAA level over several years. A source inside the Bears indicated that the organization did not feel that Yum! Field, with its expansive outfield and deep, high walls especially in left field, was a good fit for Zúñiga's skill set. The Bears also passed along two advanced AAA/AA RHPs in Steven Miller and Cuban fireballer Manuel Serrano. Lastly, the Bakersfield brokered the sixth pick in the 2029 draft to Charleston in exchange for Mata.

"Still one more call to make," he thought to himself, as he sipped a glass of some of Kentucky's finest work, two fingers of Basil Hayden's bourbon. Regarded for his plus-plus contact potential, Mata stands a lanky 6'2" but carries himself best when crouched behind a plate. Vail dialed the number he had saved since Mata first popped on PEBA scouting boards and let it ring. The conversation that followed was brief, but warm. "Good evening, Mr. Mata. My name is Dan, and I'm the GM of the Bakersfield Bears. I'm calling to let you know I've traded for you. I want to be the first to welcome you into the Bakersfield organization, Mauro. I want you to know that my scouting team thinks you can be the best our league has ever seen, if you're willing to put in the work. You're head is probably spinning a bit, what do you think of all this?" Mata's reply, muted by his limited English (he has been practicing diligently since signing his first professional contract), was practiced, "Thank you, Mr. Dan for the opportunity to keep playing. My agent told me this might be coming, so I am ready to go. I won't let you down!" The two spoke briefly thereafter, about the new coaches in Cold Bay and about expectations, "Expectation is a powerful thing, Mauro. If you expect great results and only focus on results, you'll fail eventually. Instead, I want you to focus on the work. Do what your coaches ask of you. Show up. Hustle. If you can do that, you'll be a success no matter what the outcome." Vail made sure to the call was ended before he allowed himself to quietly mutter, "but seriously, I'm going to need you to hit like both our jobs are on the line."

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:50 pm 
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Mata's a very mice looking prospect. If he develops well he should be an anchor for the Bears for a long time. Nice pickups!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:20 pm 
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Steve “Steve Hott” Hott


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Great work on the article, Dan. And some serious hustling on that front office telephone. Well done.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:24 am 
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Hott Nation!

Nice!

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