As great of a performance as the Missouri Express put on in JAL XII, it will take equally as good of a performance from owner Garrett Blain off the field to turn one WWCD Cup into a dynasty. Today, the franchise took a step in the right direction to making that happen...
Free Agent and JAL XII all-star selectee, Taite Kleine, has agreed to re-sign with the Express for a 1-tournament $6 contract.
“We are so well rounded and it obviously worked out for us in JAL XII. I didn’t want to break that,” said Taite.
Prior to JAL XII, Taite was primarily a starting pitcher. He sacrificed that role by joining the Express however, in hopes of winning his first championship. After reaching that milestone, and becoming a free agent, there was speculation that Taite would explore his options as a free agent, which he didn’t do.
“I didn’t think another team would offer me much more than what the Express did to stay,” said Taite. “And I really don’t care about being a starting pitcher that much anymore, just about winning.”
As for why Garrett only extended Taite a 1-tournament offer and not a long term deal, Garrett said the following: “I want to keep this group together as long as I can, after JAL XIII the plan is to have their contracts all expire together so I can try and work out a deal for all three.”
It’s a smart move. Kyle Godinho and Brad Williamson both have 1-tournament left on their $6/2-tourney rookie deals. The challenge of keeping this team together will no doubt be easier if all are free agents at the same time, rather than trying to work around another player's contract to make it happen.
But, this will be no easy task none the less. For starters, after JAL XII Kyle mentioned that he would like to get the biggest contract possible. Then there’s Brad, who you never really know what his motives are, and Taite who could seek a larger contract or return to pitching desires. A lot of how this all plays out will ride on the team’s successes in JAL XIII. If Garrett can pull it off and retain his big 3 it might be time to consider him the league’s GOAT owner.
“I’m not giving away all my secrets,” said Garrett when asked about his grand scheme.