The Winnipeg Goldeyes have signed two pitchers to begin building their 2023 roster.
The Fish on Thursday announced the re-signing of catcher Hidekel Gonzalez and the signing of catcher Jackson Smith.
The Goldeyes also traded centre fielder Reggie Pruitt Jr. to the Milwaukee Milkmen to complete an earlier deal.
Gonzalez, 26, hit .189 with 12 doubles, a career-high nine home runs, and 28 RBI in 62 games for the Goldeyes last season. In 56 games behind the plate, opposing baserunners attempted just 43 steals against Gonzalez, and the Goldeyes’ 87 stolen base attempts against for the season were the fewest in the American Association (the next closest team allowed 100 attempts).
Smith, 26, has played for the Gary SouthShore RailCats in three of the past four seasons, including the 2019 and 2021 campaigns under new Goldeyes’ manager Greg Tagert.
He went consecutive games without a base hit just five times, and allowed only five passed balls in 42 games behind the plate. On September 4 versus Milwaukee, Smith set career-highs with four hits and four runs scored.
“I’m thrilled to have Hidekel back with the Goldeyes,” said Tagert. “One of the most challenging aspects at every level of baseball is finding a top-flight defensive catcher, and Hidekel is one of those rare players. And by adding Jackson, we have another one of those players. I’m very familiar with Jackson having managed him in Gary, and he brings a lot of positive things to a ballclub.”
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2023 season on Thursday, May 11 on the road against the Gary SouthShore RailCats.