On the heels of the retirements of Adam Heisler and Carlton Tanabe, two other Goldeyes have announced their retirements from baseball.
Willie Cabrera continued his stellar season after coming to Winnipeg from the Joplin Blasters midway through 2016; he wound up representing the Goldeyes at the American Association All-Star Game in St. Paul alongside David Rohm. Cabrera came as a fill-in for injured St. Paul Saints star Angelo Songco. Willie ends an 11-year career on a high-note with an American Association championship ring.
Much has been made elsewhere of the Goldeyes' key acquisitions from Joplin during 2016. Could they have won the championship without Willie Cabrera in the batting order and pitchers Winston Abreu and Victor Capellan? Perhaps the strongest argument in that case is Cabrera. He absolutely contributed at the plate: .318 batting avg., 17 HR and 77 RBI.
There is a long tradition of teams stocking up on key players in anticipation of a post-season run. The fact is, the Goldeyes didn't make the playoffs until the last day of the season. But when it came to getting a hired gun, Cabrera fit the bill and delivered as promised.
The last retirement to report could be perhaps the toughest to fill: LHP Eric Eadington. Despite having two Tommy John surgeries previously, Eadington proved to be a durable reliever that wound up being one of the most dominant lefties in the American Association. He was one of the reasons that The Fish were able to clinch a playoff spot and the championship. Here's a guy who probably could have been throwing in affiliated ball, but he came at the right time for Winnipeg.