For a professional baseball franchise in the Class A Midwest League or the Triple-A Pacific Coast League like the Iowa Cubs the roster is set by the parent club. It is a much different process for an independent team like the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association. Stan Cliburn is in his third season as the manager of the Explorers and spends much of his off season building a roster.
Cliburn was the Triple-A manager for the Minnesota Twins prior to going to Sioux City and he says he has to sign the player, negotiate the contract, deal with his agent, along with coaching him and turning him into a winner.
Cliburn says finding the players for each season is something new. He says they signed a player procurement person this year, and 15 of the players he knew nothing about as they were signed in the offseason.
Cliburn says they put the team together and then try to get them to know each other in spring training. Cliburn says as an affiliate of a Major League club the goal is to develop players and move them through the system.
Independent baseball is all about winning. He says teaching players how to play the game and the fundamentals of baseball leads to winning, so it’s not really a complicated thing to do whether you are affiliated with a team or independent.
The Explorers close out a series in Kansas City this evening.