Jul 05, 2024

Crushers Announce Trade, Other Moves

Avon, OH – Several moves were processed by the Lake Erie Crushers front office ahead of the team’s game against the New Jersey Jackals on Friday, July 5.

The biggest move involves veteran catcher Alfredo Gonzalez. Gonzalez has been placed on the inactive list as of July 5. He is out indefinitely for personal reasons. Gonzalez was having an incredible season, slashing .288/.357/.511 in 37 starts in 2024. The former White Sox mashed 9 home runs and logged 32 RBI while playing excellent defense behind the plate for Lake Erie. His leadership and presence will be missed, but the team respects him during this time as he takes a step away from the team.

INF Alex Epp has been traded to the Yolo High Wheelers in the Pioneer League for future considerations. Epp joined the team on June 8th, playing in 15 games (10 starts) for the Crushers in his tenure. He hit .243 with 4 doubles in 37 at bats.

In response to the subtractions, the Crushers have signed two players that will be active for the upcoming series against New Jersey: OF Sam Franco and C Alex Rodriguez (both to Pro-1 contracts).

Sam Franco played three years of college ball at Manhattan College before transferring to Purdue University. Franco slashed .299/.374/.495 across his college career in 137 games played. He hit a career high 10 home runs with Manhattan in 2021, having 16 career college home runs, 25 doubles, and 70 RBI. Franco had a short stint with the Valley Blue Sox in the New England Collegiate Baseball League between his two seasons at Purdue. He joins the team as extra outfield depth and will wear #7 (formerly worn by Alfredo Gonzalez).

Alex Rodriguez played in college at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where he slashed .292/.343./409 in 117 games over five seasons. Rodriguez was signed as a free agent to a minor league contract by the Minnesota Twins on January 8, 2022. He played 14 games in Rookie ball with the FCL Twins between 2022 and 2023. He made one appearance in A ball with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. He joins the team as the primary catcher replacement for Alfredo Gonzalez and will wear #28.

The Crushers sit at 31-17 and in 1st place ahead of their series against New Jersey. You can catch all the action on FLOBaseball.tv.

Be sure to also follow the Crushers on X/Facebook/Instagram @LECrushers!

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