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?
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.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.