Their teams, positions and salaries vary widely, but with the arrival of Spring Training Maui’s three pro baseball players have one important thing in common: each is on a Major League roster.
Last season ended in disappointment for St. Anthony grad Shane Victorino, as his Philadelphia Phillies failed in their bid for a third straight World Series appearance. Victorino, 30, did win another Gold Glove for his centerfield play—and enjoyed the fruits of a new contract that will pay him $17 million over the next two years. Plus, the Phillies added All-Star Cliff Lee to an already impressive pitching rotation and enter 2011 as the odds-on favorites to win the National League.
Kula-born Kurt Suzuki hit a mediocre .242 for the equally mediocre Oakland A’s, but the 27-year-old catcher has three years and $14 million left on his contract—meaning he’ll be given ample opportunity to bounce back.
Meanwhile, relief pitcher Kanekoa Texeira—another Kula boy—signed a one-year deal with the cellar-dwelling Kansas City Royals worth about $400,000. Texeira, 25, made his big-league debut in 2010 with the Seattle Mariners but was cut loose after posting an unsightly 5.30 ERA in 16 appearances.
Exhibition games began this week, and the Phillies, A’s and Royals will play their season openers in late March and early April. The soonest two Maui players could meet (assuming no one changes teams) will be May 6, when Oakland starts a three-game series in Kansas City.