Could baseball return to Montreal?

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The Montreal Gazette is reporting that one of Canada’s great cities could once again be a home for a Major League Baseball team as long as a new stadium is built in the downtown area. A study was performed by Ernst and Young and the law firm BCF, which found that it would cost Montreal $525 million to acquire a new team and $500 million to build a new stadium.

More on the study from the Gazette:

The study said, based on the information collected and a “conservative analysis,” the return of baseball would be financially viable under “a set of realistic assumptions.” They include “a modest but competitive payroll, average ticket prices in line with league averages, and a local broadcasting rights deal in line with other similar MLB markets.”

The study suggested a 36,000 seat open-air stadium in the downtown area and cites Minnesota’s Target Field as a model.

Montreal lost the Expos after the 2004 season. The franchise moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals, suffering the same run of mediocrity the Expos went through during much of the 1970’s through the 1990’s. However, they broke a 21-year playoff drought in 2012, winning the NL East behind first-round pick phenoms Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. They finished in second place behind the Braves in 2013.

Obviously, this is far from becoming a reality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate which teams would be a good fit. A’s it cold in here or just me?

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.