Winnipeg Goldeyes sign first 3 players for 2018

The Winnipeg Goldeyes celebrate their 2017 American Association Championship victory. Russ Hobson / Global News

The two-time defending champion Winnipeg Goldeyes have started re-tooling for next season.

The Fish signed their first three players for the 2018 season on Wednesday. The Goldeyes announced they’ve signed catcher Jesse Baker, outfielder Jonathan Moroney and right-handed pitcher Cody Strayer.

All three players are still classified as rookies in the American Association even though they all appeared in games last season with the Salina Stockade.

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Baker, 25, hit .253 with eight home runs and 35 runs batted in 92 games with the Stockade last season. In 2016 Baker was an all-star in helping the Tucson Saguaros win the Pecos League championship.

Moroney, 23, is coming off his first season in professional baseball. Moroney finished last season as a teammate of Baker in Salina. He batted .294 with one homer and 16 RBI in 50 games for the Stockade.

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Strayer, 24, also ended last season with the Stockade. He had a 1-2 record with a 4.96 earned run average in 12 relief appearances.

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They’re the first players under contract with the Goldeyes for next season. Although the Fish picked up the option for 21 players from their championship squad last month to retain their rights, they all still need to be signed to new contracts.

The Goldeyes kick off their 25th anniversary season on May 18.