Wild Things trade Barnes to River City
The Wild Things have made their first trade of the offseason, dealing away a key member of their starting rotation for the past two years.Washington sent right-handed pitcher Casey Barnes, first baseman Michael Bando and a player to be named to the River City Rascals in exchange for first baseman Chris Andreas and relief pitchers Albert Ayala and Cory Caruso.Barnes spent two seasons with Washington, posting an 11-12 record and a 3.11 ERA in 32 starts. In 2011, Barnes was third in the Frontier League with a 2.34 ERA. He had his contract purchased late in the 2011 season by the Philadelphia Phillies, and after a brief stint with their Williamsport affiliate in the New York-Penn League, Barnes returned to Washington last year. He had signed a contract extension with the Wild Things during the 2012 season.Bando, the son of Washington manager Chris Bando, struggled at the plate in his only season with the Wild Things, batting .172 last year with one home run and eight doubles in 180 at-bats.Ayala has spent six seasons in independent leagues, posting a 12-17 record with a 4.94 ERA and 17 saves in 155 games (20 starts). Last year, he played for River City and Southern Illinois, finishing with a 0-0 record, nine saves and 2.95 ERA. He also played in the Frontier League in 2007 with River City and 2008 with the Midwest Sliders.Andreas was a 39th round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2011 out of Sam Houston State. He played one year of rookie ball in the Mariners’ system and hit .336 but did not have a home run in 116 at-bats. With River City last season, Andreas batted .261 in 79 games with six home runs and 11 doubles.Caruso was a 50th round draft pick of the Miami Marlins in 2011 out of Cal State-San Bernardino but did not sign. He returned to college and last spring had a 3-4 record and 3.19 ERA. He signed with River City and pitched in 29 games (one start), going 0-2 with a 4.45 ERA.Washington also signed pitcher Dominick Ruscitti, a rookie out of Kutztown University. Ruscitti had a 7-3 record last spring and was a first team All-PSAC East Division selection.