And now for some news as fantastic as it was inevitable: friend of HBT Jonah Keri, fresh of his bestselling success, The Extra 2%, just signed a deal to write the definitive history of the Montreal Expos.
The details are over at Jonah’s blog. The only slight bummer: his publisher has it slated to come out in 2014 to coincide with round number anniversaries of the Expos’ move to Washington and their magical but tragically-aborted run at the NL East title in 1994.* Perchance Jonah can persuade them to move it up a bit since it’s a topic people will — or at least should — be very interested in. If not, fine, we’ll wait.
The Expos are gone. Someday, sooner than we think, so too will be the people who helped define that historic — and historically bizarre — baseball franchise. It makes me really happy that someone is going to capture it all for posterity, and that that someone is a person who loves and mourns the Expos as much as Jonah Keri does.
*Note: I presume that Jonah will not let his Expos fandom get in the way of the fact that, if the 1994 season had continued, the Atlanta Braves would have easily made up the six-game gap, overtaken the Expos and won the World Series that year. I mean, it’s just science.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.