On the occasion of Andre Dawson’s election to the Hall of Fame, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times has a nice story up about the Montreal Expos. Definitely worth checking out. I rarely get too nostalgic about the Expos — in their latter years they were most bothersome competition for my Braves — but it struck me this morning that unless they make a point of researching this kind of thing my kids are never going to know of Les Expos and I find that kind of sad.
Interesting bit from the article: Gary Carter hopes that Andre Dawson goes in as an Cub so that, unlike him, he’ll have an actual living team that can celebrate his career (note: Dawson wants that too). I assume that, regardless of what cap he wears, the Cubs will have an Andre Dawson day next summer and all of that, but Carter’s point is a valid one. The Nats pretend that the Expos never existed. No one save a handful of die hards like Jonah Keri seem to care all that much.
Maybe I’m just turning into an old fogey — what’ll my kids ever care about the Montreal Expos? — but it’s a shame, really.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.