GARY — As Wednesday's game against St. Paul was drawing to a close, so was Charle Rosario's season with the RailCats.
The team traded their ace and two-time all-star pitcher Rosario to Winnipeg for four players to be named and pitcher Daniel Minor.
The players to be named will come after the season ends, though Minor will report to the RailCats in time for the weekend trip to Fargo-Moorhead.
"This wasn't a favor to Charle," manager Greg Tagert said. "But I know that his thought coming back this season was to compete at the highest level and his goal is to win a title."
Winnipeg is the defending American Association champion and leads the North Division by two games.
The RailCats aren't in acquisition mode, though they were OK to deal Rosario with the option to pick up players for the 2018 campaign.
"We told the club (Tuesday), if the guys are waiting for us to dip into the Mexican League or waiting for us to make a big trade with another team to bring in a Rico Washington or a Henry Wrigley, those don't always work out as we know first hand, that's not going to happen," Tagert said before Wednesday's series finale against St. Paul.
The 'Cats traded for Henry Wrigley for a postseason push in 2014 and missed the playoffs by a game.
Instead, as the team sits in third in the AA's Central Division and in fourth in the Wild Card standings, three games behind Kansas City, the RailCats will likely only add youth to the roster, Tagert said.
"We haven't given up on 2017. I don't want to give the impression or get the club to get the impression that by not adding pieces we're giving up," Tagert said. "With that being said, and I think I made it clear the other day, the direction we'd go the last month here based on who we'd finish the season with, it is a roster we'd want to go into 2018 with is just an extension of what we started this season with."
The RaiCats reached as high as second place in the division standings as late as July 21 before losing three games to Sioux City, three of four to Winnipeg and two of three in the series against St. Paul that ended Wednesday.
"Not that we don't want to help ourselves, but I guess we ware fully committed to what we are doing," Tagert said. "Do I wish we were playing better right now, yes. It is discouraging to say the least that we haven't improved where we thought we could.
"As our positive coaching staff says, we're one three-game winning streak away from being right in the wild card, but the play in the last couple weeks has been one that makes me wonder what we may need to do to get to that level on a consistent basis."
Tagert said that Fritze will go on the road trip to Fargo-Moorhead that starts with a three-game series Friday.
The RailCats play 10 remaining home games, including series at U.S. Steel Yard against division leading Lincoln (Sept. 1-4) and Kansas City (Aug. 25-27).
Tagert said he's been trying to recreate the "core" group that he had from 2005-2014 when the team reached the postseason in all but three seasons, winning three league championships.
"Maybe you can't recreate that group we had for a decade, that all happened a little organically from the beginning coming from the Frontier League. I don't know if I'm trying to recreate something that can't be done, because that was so unique," Tagert said.
"Whether it was Steve Haake or Mike Massaro, it was the same right fielder for 10 years. We've done some things so well this year, I'm just hoping we're not running out of steam, that's what I'm concerned about, the length of the season, the schedule, all those things you don't really know until you see the player in action on a daily basis."