The most anticipated baseball book in a long while comes out today: Jonah Keri’s “Up, Up & Away,” which is a comprehensive history of the Montreal Expos. But the term “comprehensive history” seems so dry. Here’s the full title, which gives you a better view of what to expect: Up, Up & Away: The Kid, The Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, Le Grand Orange, Youppi!, The Crazy Business of Baseball, & the Ill-Fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos.
I haven’t read it yet — it should arrive at my doorstep via a preorder today — but here’s a review of it over at The Hardball Times which confirms what I suspected: it’ll be fun, enthusiastic, at times rollicking and above all else, informative. Well, maybe above that, passionate Keri is from Montreal. He was a lifelong Expos fan until the Expos’ life was cut short. This was the book he was born to write and anyone interested in this subject matter — which should be everyone — couldn’t have asked for a better person to write it.
Really looking forward to this. Really hoping everyone gives it a chance, lest the Expos be lost to history.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.