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Lancaster Acquires Rights to Three Sugar Land Stars, Deals Godwin

March 21, 2013 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Lancaster Barnstormers News Release

The Lancaster Barnstormers have received the Atlantic League rights to three of Sugar Land's inaugural season stars, it was announced today by manager Butch Hobson.

Lancaster will have the exclusive rights to pitcher/outfielder Jason Lane, first baseman Jason Botts, and outfielder Bubba Bell. Botts and Lane both have Major League experience and had terrific partial seasons with Sugar Land in 2012 while Bell represented the Skeeters in the 2012 Atlantic League All-Star Game.

In return, the Barnstormers have traded outfielder Adam Godwin to the Skeeters.

Lane, 36, converted from the outfield to the mound last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks' Class AAA affiliate in Reno. He was released on May 29 and signed with the Skeeters. He was 9-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 110.2 innings of work over 18 appearances. He fired one complete game shutout.

While not pitching, the former Houston Astros slugger hit .275 with nine homers and 31 RBI for Sugar Land, largely as the club's designated hitter.

The Southern Cal product spent six seasons in Houston. He played a huge role in the Astros' march to the World Series in 2005, belting 26 homers and driving in 78 runs during the regular season. Lane contributed three more long balls and knocked in eight during the post-season that year.

He is currently in camp with the Minnesota Twins.

Botts, 32, has played a portion of four seasons with the Texas Rangers from 2005-08, batting .230 with five home runs in 93 games. The imposing switch hitter whacked 49 homers and drove in 194 runs over a two-season stretch (2004-05) in the upper levels of the Rangers' farm system. He has spent a portion of two seasons in the Japanese Major Leagues and has also played in Mexico.

In the Atlantic League, he has slammed 16 homers and driven in 66 runs in 94 games over a part of three campaigns. He clubbed a game-winning homer in extra innings for the Skeeters last June at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Bell, 30, patrolled center field for the Skeeters in 2012, hitting .289 while adding 35 doubles and 11 stolen bases. The lefty hitter drove in 53 runs.

The Texas native spent six seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization, the last two with Class AAA Pawtucket. In 2011, he split time between the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians' farm systems, mostly at the Class AAA level. His best stretch came in 2007 with Lancaster, CA when he hit .370 with 22 home runs and 83 RBI in just 76 games.

Godwin finished second in the Atlantic League in average, hitting .327 for the Barnstormers in 2012 and was named to the league's year-end All-Star squad.

"The players that we acquired in this deal are real quality players," said Hobson. "Lane is with an organization, but if he doesn't stay there, we get a quality left-handed starter. Botts is a dangerous hitter who could join us into the season, and Bell is just a hard-nosed player and good left-handed hitter. Adam wanted to play in Sugar Land, and we were able to accommodate that while potentially getting some great players in return."

The Lancaster Barnstormers are entering their ninth season as a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit LancasterBarnstormers.com for more information.

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