The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks have signed 1B Chase Burch, C Marcus Nidiffer and LHP Eric Kline to contracts and acquired INF Anthony Kaskadden from the Sioux City Explorers for C Todd Jennings.
Burch, 27, was acquired by the RedHawks from the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League in late September. He batted .264 with 18 doubles, three triples, 15 home runs, 66 RBIs and 61 runs scored in 92 games for Traverse City in 2013. Burch has played the last four seasons in Traverse City and leaves as the franchise leader in games played, at-bats, runs scored, home runs and RBI. In four years with the Beach Bums, he has batted .282 with 70 doubles, five triples, 68 home runs, 285 RBIs, 243 runs scored and 262 walks in 350 games.
Burch began his professional career in the American Association in 2009 with the Pensacola Pelicans after completing his college career at Auburn University at Montgomery (AL). That season, he batted .341 with 20 doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 65 RBIs and 60 runs scored in 90 games. Burch was named Rookie of the Year and was selected to the American Association All-Star Team following the season.
Nidiffer, 26, was Burch’s teammate in Traverse City the past two seasons. He batted .220 with 13 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 26 RBIs and 37 runs scored in 67 games for Traverse City last year. In 2012, Nidiffer batted .241 with 16 doubles, nine home runs, 38 RBIs and 37 runs scored in 72 games for the Beach Bums. A solid defender behind the plate, Nidiffer has committed just nine errors in the past two seasons while throwing out 37.5 percent of would-be base stealers. He began his professional career with the Houston Astros organization in 2010 as a non-drafted free agent. Nidiffer played college baseball at the University of Kentucky, where he was a teammate of RedHawks OF Sawyer Carroll in 2007 and 2008.
Kline, 24, joins the RedHawks as a true rookie in 2014. He last pitched in college at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania in 2012, where he was a teammate of current RedHawks pitcher Brian Ernst. He also pitched collegiately at the University of Buffalo (NY) in 2008-2009 and at Iowa Western CC in 2010.
The RedHawks acquired Kaskadden, 24, in a trade with Sioux City for veteran C Todd Jennings. In 2013, Kaskadden batted .245 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, 18 RBIs and 31 runs scored in 77 games. He also stole nine bases. Kaskadden played most of last season at second base for the Explorers. He played college baseball in the Summit League for Western Illinois University in 2010 and 2011.
Jennings, 32, batted .219 with ten doubles, 23 RBIs and 29 runs scored in 93 games for Fargo-Moorhead last season. He originally joined the RedHawks during the 2011 season and appeared in 220 games in his time with Fargo-Moorhead.
REDHAWKS NOTES… • The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks have released OF Jose Hernandez. Herenandez, who was acquired from the St. Paul Saints last August, is retiring from professional baseball. • RedHawks fans can purchase Opening Day, Season, Group and Flex Pack tickets for the 2014 season now. There are three easy ways to buy RedHawks tickets: at the stadium (Mon-Fri., 9:00 am-5:00 pm), over the phone at 701-235-6161 or online at www.fmredhawks.com.