Well, the new season is under way, and while Pete Rubel is still reeling from his $14M dollar pay cut and drop to third starter, the management teem wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the franchise and the season ahead. First, in regards to Rubel, we still think he's a good pitcher. We were willing to negotiate with him in the offseason, but he was unwilling to reciprocate, so we looked at other options. Unfortunately for him, there was very little movement this year in FA, and eventually he was forced to take a contract for half of what we would have negotiated during the winter. With his huge contract now gone, and not having the pressure of carrying the team, we hope he can maybe put up some career numbers for us. We brought in Hubbard late in the FA period and gave him the starting spot, and bumped Castilla up to number two. Rookie of the Year candidate Pedro Medrano was moved from a starter into a long relief position. We feel this is an important role for him and that he's better suited to the position. The rest of our pitching staff didn't change much, we're expecting better performances out of the staff as a whole, as last year's runs against will not be tolerated a second time.
On the positional front, we had to let Zheng, Fuentes, and Butler go. We have a lot of young guys coming up through the system that will change the face of the team. Filipe Ortiz, whom was picked up mid season last year from Monterrey was traded to Oklahoma for Hideo Nakano. We were happy with what Ortiz brought to the team, but we were offered the deal for Nakano and liked the extra speed he'll bring to the club, so we had to take it. Derrek Bedard was our other offseason signing. He'll help to replace some of Ortiz's power, and hopefully help Ryan Hamill and Chief Pearson put a few long balls over the fence. We also picked up Terrel Austin in the rule five draft to add some more contact and speed to the bench. And last, but certainly not least, we called up SS Alex Suh to start the season. He's got great defense and a decent bat. We expect good things from him this season. We'll likely be calling up fellow rookie shortstop B.C. Stone part way through the season. Currently we don't have enough bats to keep everyone rested through the grueling season.
So what does all this mean for your Shadow Wolves? It means we are improving the team. We are getting better every year. We have a number of young stars rising up through the system that will be seeing time in the Bigs very soon. Future hall-of-famers like Santiago Martin and Barry McEnroe. Future aces like Victor Soto and Hector Manto. Solid pitchers in Limon, Foster, Lopez, and Molina. Solid bats like Lee, Brogna, Neruda, and Flores. And that's just the tip of the snout, so to speak. Your Boise Shadow Wolves aren't going to win the World Series this season. In fact, we probably won't win next season either, though anything can happen. In three years, though, we will become a team that can compete with the top teams in the league. We will do our best to make this team better year after year until we are the best. Our target for this season is 75 wins. Next season we expect to be able to play at or above five hundred. The future of the Shadow Wolves is, ironically bright. We appreciate the enthusiasm and commitment to the team by the great fans of Boise, and we promise you that your commitment will be rewarded in the years to come. Thank you for your time.