Will make Dirtbag debut tomorrow
The Fargo Dirtbags and Cheyenne Nation came to terms on a deal that sent veteran pitcher Manny Christians to Fargo in exchange for pitcher Tyler Wilson and pitching prospect Enrique Gutierrez. The deal marks the second time Christians has been traded this season. He was dealt from New York to Cheyenne during spring training.
Fargo hopes the trade will bolster a pitching staff that has struggled to live up to its normal standards this season. The team that has led The Bigs in team ERA every year since season 1 currently ranks 13th in the majors with essentially the same staff as last season. Christians, who was being used as the closer for Cheyenne, will be asked to be the fourth starter for Fargo and will make his debut in tomorrow's am game against St. Louis.
The trade is just another in a rebuilding process for Cheyenne. In return for the former All-Star Christians, the Nation get back an expiring contract and solid veteran starter in Wilson, and a promising pitching prospect in Gutierrez, the main catch in the deal for Cheyenne.
The 34-year-old Wilson was 4-2 in 10 starts for Fargo with a 5.36 ERA this season. In 3-plus seasons with the Dirtbags, Wilson went 36-26 with an ERA of 3.82 in 94 career starts.
Gutierrez was claimed off the waiver wire by Fargo prior to the start of season 1 and has excellend in his minor league career. The 22-year-old won back to back Cy Young Awards at HiA and was 6-5 with a 4.77 ERA at AA this season before the trade. Gutierrez was the 87th ranked prospect on ACE's season 4 Top 100 Prospects list. Word out of Cheyenne is that Gutierrez will stay in the minor leagues for the rest of this season with the expectation that he'll be ready for major league action in season 5.
The move also frees Cheyenne from the $10 million Christians was owed for season 5. As part of the trade, the Nation will pay $3 million of the remaining $7,864,197 on Christians' contract for this season.