The Ottawa Champions have made a flurry of recent roster moves in preparation for their second season in the Can-Am League.
The Champions re-signed C Danny Grauer to a contract for the 2016 season. Grauer, 23, batted a combined .340 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI in 85 games last season with the Roswell Invaders of the Pecos League and the Champions. With the retirement of Bryce Massanari in March, Grauer is slated to compete for the starting catcher job in spring training.
The Champions acquired RHP Randy Hamrick from the Lincoln Saltdogs to complete an earlier trade for IF Ryan Lashley. Hamrick, 29, signed as a free agent with Lincoln this off-season after spending the last two seasons with the Amarillo Thunderheads of the American Association. Last season the Vero Beach, FL native had a 4-4 record with Amarillo along with a 3.40 ERA, 12 saves, and 52 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched. Even though Hamrick was a reliever last season, Champions manager Hal Lanier says he wants to start and that he’ll get every opportunity to do that in Ottawa.
The ballclub acquired OF Matt Helms from the New Jersey Jackals exchange for future considerations. Helms, 24, spent the 2015 season with New Jersey, compiling a .275 batting average with two home runs and 34 RBI in 69 games as the Jackals made it all the way to the Can-Am League championship before falling to the Trois-Rivieres Aigles.
The Champions just signed RHP Austin Chrismon to a contract for the 2016 season. Chrismon, 23, was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 26th round of the 2013 MLB entry draft and split the 2015 season between the Single-A Quad City River Bandits and the Single-A Lancaster JetHawks. With Quad City and Lancaster, the Newport News, VA native combined to go 11-5 with a 4.19 ERA in 26 appearances (18 starts). He threw 122.1 innings, striking out 79 and walking 24.
The Champions open their 2016 Can-Am league season on May 19 at 7:05 p.m. at RCGT Park against the New Jersey Jackals. Single game tickets are on sale and can be purchased by phone at 613.745.2255, in person at the RCGT Park box office, or online at www.ottawachampions.com/tickets.