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Old 08-21-2018, 01:11 AM   #1
jaa36
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Sacre Bleu! Les Return of Les Expos!

This dynasty will chronicle the return of the Expos to Montreal. I'll sim a few years starting in 2018 and pick up the team from their humble beginnings as an expansion franchise in the year 2022.

Once I get started, I'll generally summarize the team's progress from month to month, while reporting on other interesting happenings from around the league. Inflation will be between 2-5% so salaries will increase over time, and other rules will change over time as well.

I'll function as general manager, and will also set up lineups and the pitching rotation. I won't let myself be fired as the first few seasons may be pretty rough. I'll sim games rather than playing them out.

A few house rules. I'll allow myself to initiate three transactions (free agents, trades or waiver claims) during the regular season, and a total of five transactions (free agents, trades, waiver claims or rule 5 picks) during the offseason. I can also accept trades offered to me. Trading will be set to hard and neutral with respect to prospects.

I'll update this post with the Expos' record from year to year.

2022: 73-83
2023: 66-90
2024: 86-70, wild card, lost World Series 4-0
2025: 88-68, wild card, lost Division Series 3-2
2026: 76-80
2027: 74-82
2028: 89-67, wild card, lost Wild Card Series 2-0
2029: 96-60, won division, lost Division Series 3-1
2030: 80-76
2031: 97-59, won division, won the World Series 4-2!!!

All-time record: 825-735, 5x playoffs, one championship

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Old 08-21-2018, 07:55 AM   #2
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2018

The Cleveland Indians won the 2018 World Series, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to take down the New York Mets. The Indians won 106 games during the regular season and were led by the best offense in baseball, including MVP winner Francisco Lindor.

AL MVP: Francisco Lindor, CLE (.350/39/127, 11.1 WAR)
NL MVP: Bryce Harper, WAS (.333/40/99, 8.3 WAR)
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale, BOS (15-8, 2.90, 5.7 WAR)
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, LAD (16-5, 2.40, 9.0 WAR)

The biggest storyline over the course of the season was the resolution of stadium limbo in both Oakland and Tampa Bay. In March 2018, the Athletics offered to purchase the site of their current ancient ballpark, the Coliseum, as well as the Oracle Arena, which the Golden State Warriors would seen be vacating. After several decades of conflicts and setbacks, the A's officially announced plans to build a new ballpark on that site, slated to open in 2023. Similarly, in July, the Rays organization put forward a design for a new ballpark to open in Ybor City. The team and the city were able to come to an agreement in relatively short order on a plan to finance the stadium, which was also announced for 2023.

With these two pieces in place, shortly after the end of the World Series MLB commissioner Rob Manfred officially announced that MLB would be accepting bids for expansion franchises. The new franchises would be announced at the end of the 2019 season, with plans to start play in 2022.

Other notable happenings:
Randall Delgado (ARI) threw a no-hitter. Billy Hamilton (CIN) had a 33-game hitting streak. Clayton Kershaw won the pitching Triple Crown. Casey Mize (DET) was the top overall draft choice.

Transactions:
Charlie Blackmon (COL) signed a six-year extension for $168M, and Manny Machado (BAL) signed a four-year extension for $111M. (That guy needs a new agent.) Zach Britton was traded to the Twins, Jose Abreu was traded to the Rockies, and Trevor Bauer was traded to the Dodgers.

Milestones:
Joe Mauer (MIN) got his 2000th career hit, and Robinson Cano (SEA) his 2500th. Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) got his 300th career home run. Justin Verlander (HOU) won his 200th game.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:02 AM   #3
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2019

The Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to take their second World Series in three years. Carlos Correa hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning of Game Seven to clinch the victory for the Astros.

AL MVP: Mookie Betts, BOS (.338/20/81, 6.8)
NL MVP: Corey Seager, LAD (.345/40/128, 9.4)
AL Cy Young: Luis Severino, NYY (20-4, 3.03, 5.0)
NL Cy Young: Noah Syndergaard, NYM (20-8, 2.84, 9.5)

After a year of lobbying by a total of 13 different cities (Portland, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Nashville, Austin, San Antonio, Montreal, Vancouver, Brooklyn, Raleigh, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis), the expansion franchises were announced: Montreal and Portland. The Montreal franchise immediately announced that they would again be named the Expos. The Portland franchise does not have a name as of yet. The Expos organization plans to move forward with building a new ballpark, which should be ready for Opening Day 2022.

Commissioner Manfred announced that with the addition of the two teams in 2022, MLB will change to a four-division format, with eight teams in each division. The two division winners will get a bye in the first round, and there will be four wild-card teams in each league, though it's not certain as of yet whether they will play a single game or best of three to make it to the Division Series. The league agreed to reduce the season length to 156 games, allowing for an off day each week, with player salaries remaining the same, in exchange for the players agreeing to increased participation in MLB's marketing campaigns in the offseason, including several international games during spring training. After another spate of injuries to pitchers on the basepaths over the last two seasons, momentum is moving towards making the designated hitter universal to both leagues, and to adding a 26th man to the rosters.

Other notable happenings:
Mariano Rivera was selected to the Hall of Fame. Chris Stratton (SF) and Frankie Montas (OAK) threw no-hitters. Adley Rutschman (college C) was the first overall pick by the White Sox.

Transactions:
Prior to the season, Bryce Harper agreed to return to the Nationals for seven years, $191M, Clayton Kershaw to the Dodgers for six years, $168M, and Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for five years, $129M. A.J. Pollock was the biggest name to change teams, joining Texas for $132M over six years. During the season, Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) signed an extension for four years, $88M, and Madison Bumgarner (SF) signed one for five years, $63M.

Milestones:
Miguel Cabrera (DET) hit his 500th home run, Edwin Encarnacion (CLE) hit his 400th, and Evan Longoria (SF), Brian McCann (HOU), Joey Votto (CIN), Chris Davis (BAL), Jay Bruce (NYM) and Justin Upton (LAA) all hit their 300th. Kenley Jansen (LAD) got his 300th save. Ian Kinsler (HOU) got his 2000th hit.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:12 AM   #4
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2020

The Cleveland Indians came back from a 3-1 deficit for the second time in three years to take the World Series in seven games over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

AL MVP: Francisco Lindor, CLE (.353/31/112, 10.6)
NL MVP: Noah Syndergaard, NYM (16-6, 2.51, 10.4)
AL Cy Young: Lance McCullers Jr., HOU (15-3, 3.08, 5.5)
NL Cy Young: Syndergaard

The Portland expansion franchise will be known as the Beavers, which was the name of their Pacific Coast League team for many years. They broke ground on a new stadium in the Rose Quarter. Somewhat surprisingly, it will be an open-air stadium despite the city's propensity for rain in the spring. The Expos franchise also broke ground on a new stadium in the Peel Basin area of Montreal; it will have a retractable roof. Next season, MLB will have 26-man rosters, with rosters limited to 28 players in September.

Other notable happenings: Jake Bauers (TB) had a 31-game hitting streak. The 2020 Hall of Fame class was an interesting one, with Derek Jeter, Roy Halladay and Barry Bonds all being honored. Davon McKeiver (college P) was the first overall draftee by the Tigers.

Transactions: Prior to the season, Stephen Strasburg signed with the Dodgers for five years and $132M. Anthony Rendon returned to the Nationals for the same rate. Didi Gregorious signed the biggest deal, $202M for seven years with the Reds... hmm. During the season, Mike Trout (LAA) signed a five-year extension worth $185M.

Milestones: Zach Greinke (ARI) won his 200th game. Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) hit his 400th home run, and Mike Trout (LAA) his 300th. Miguel Cabrera (DET) got his 3000th hit and Joey Votto (CIN) his 2000th. Adam Jones (KC) reached both 300 home runs and 2000 hits.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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2021

The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Atlanta Braves in the World Series in six games. The Angels came into the postseason as a Wild Card, having won 92 games, but took their first World Series title since 2002.

AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani, LAA (.294/20/74 as a hitter and 15-7, 3.26, 5.4 as a pitcher)
NL MVP: Scott Kingery, PHI (.319/34/94, 6.6)
AL Cy Young: Ohtani
NL Cy Young: Kolby Allard, ATL (20-3, 2.47, 3.8)

The expansion draft for the Expos and Beavers franchises is right around the corner. New stadiums are in progress for Tampa Bay and Oakland and should be ready to go for 2023. The designated hitter will be in both leagues starting in 2022. Additionally, there will be a few changes to free agency and salary arbitration. "Super two" status will be eliminated and arbitration will be available only to players with more than three years service time. Free agency compensation will be eliminated altogether. The international signing limit will go to a soft cap and increase to $10M. The minimum salary has now increased to $600,000. Postseason structure will have six teams from each league- division winners get a bye, and the wild card teams will play a best-of-three series to advance to the Division Series in each league. During the regular season, each team will player their seven divisional opponents twelve times, and their eight non-divisional opponents in the same league six times. They will also play eight intraleague opponents three times each, for a total of 156 games. Every Thursday will be an off day, year-round.

Other notable happenings: Cal Quantrill (SD) and Brusdar Graterol (MIN) threw no-hitters. It was another controversial Hall of Fame class, as Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling were all selected.

Transactions: Before the season, Madison Bumgarner opted out of his previous contract and signed with the Nationals for $189M over six years. Trevor Bauer signed with the Angels for six years, $188M. Marcus Stroman signed with the Mets for $169M over seven years.

Milestones: Freddie Freeman (ATL) hit his 300th home run. Jose Altuve (HOU), Curtis Granderson (CLE), Dustin Pedroia (BOS) and Evan Longoria (SF) got their 2000th hits. Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) and Josh Donaldson (TOR) hit their 300th home runs.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:04 AM   #6
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starting up

I'll be playing the role of Carter Raines Dawson, a young GM hired by Expos owner Charles Bronfman to lead the team in their first years as an expansion franchise. Bronfman, who made his money in the liquor business, has been pushing to get baseball back in Montreal for years, but at the age of 90, he may not be around much longer. He looks to be on the frugal side, but also fairly hands-off.

The Expos will play in Labatt Park, a beautiful new retractable-roof stadium in the Peel Basin. It looks to be a neutral park overall.

The Beavers are owned primarily by former Nike executive Craig Cheek, and they'll start play in Nike Field, an open-air stadium which looks to be a pitcher's park overall.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:21 AM   #7
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expansion draft

Expansion draft is so fun!

The Beavers had the first overall pick and selected Dinelson Lamet, a 29-year-old right-hander who has had four and a half pretty good seasons with the Padres, and is under team control for two more years.

With our first pick we selected outfielder Tyler Esplin, a 22-year-old left-handed hitter from the Red Sox organization. Esplin has excellent power, very good leadership skills, and plays good defense. He was solid in Double-A last year, hitting .271 with 20 home runs. He's a former 7th-round pick, and is a big guy at 6'3" and 230 lbs. The question is whether he'll be able to make enough contact to stick in the majors.

Our second pick, and really someone who was neck and neck with Esplin, was infielder Brett Netzer. The 25-year-old is actually also from the Red Sox organization, and hit .307 in AAA last year. Netzer is a capable infielder but profiles best at second base. Also a left-handed hitter, he should get on base, and actually hasn't cracked the majors yet, so still has six years of team control.

Overall, I tried to focus on young players. Not a lot of guys with true upside in here, but perhaps some decent role players. When in doubt, I tried to get guys with some leadership potential as well. I chose very few players with significant MLB experience. Luke Weaver and Keone Kela are the only guys with contracts above $2M/year; Weaver makes $9.1M this year and then has another year of arbitration, and Kela makes $9.9M/year for the next two years.

The whole list:

1. Tyler Esplin, 22, OF
2. Brett Netzer, 25, IF
3. Chad Wesley Smith, 24, OF
4. Luis Patino, 22, SP
5. Sam Keating, 23, SP
6. A.J. Puckett, 26, SP
7. Emerson Jimenez, 26, IF
8. Juan Fernandez, 22, C
9. Luke Weaver, 28, SP
10. Andres Munoz, 22, RP
11. Joe Dunand, 26, IF
12. Pedro Jose Gonzalez, 24, OF
13. Tirso Ornelas, 21, OF
14. Nabil Crismatt, 26, SP
15. Keone Kela, 28, RP
16. Jared Miller, 28, RP
17. Julian Fernandez, 25, RP
18. Jake Rogers, 26, C
19. Connor Jones, 27, SP
20. Oswaldo Cabrera, 22, IF
21. Richard Lovelady, 26, RP
22. Starling Heredia, 22, OF
23. Miguel Andujar, 26, IF
24. Nick Nelson, 26, SP
25. Griffin Jax, 27, SP
26. Noah Bremer, 25, SP
27. Austin Gomber, 28, RP
28. Jhoan Urena, 27, IF
29. Joshua Lowe, 23, IF
30. Hagen Danner, 23, C
31. Jeren Kendall, 25, OF
32. Canaan Smith, 22, OF
33. Maverik Buffo, 26, SP (impossible to pass up that name)
34. Cornelius Randolph, 24, OF
35. Starlin Paulino, 21, IF
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:17 AM   #8
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offseason 2021-22

Shortly after the expansion draft I learned that Charles Bronfman gave me a total budget of $85M, the lowest in the league. Not to worry- Bronfman died just fifteen days after the Expos franchise was rebooted, and was replaced as owner by Charles Bronfman Jr. The free-spending Bronfman Jr. pushed the budget all the way up to $110M!

My first move (in the throes of such stringent financial limitations) was to swap Keone Kela, our most expensive player, to Kansas City for outfielder (and former star quarterback) Kyler Murray, a talented and fast center fielder who ranked as the #99 prospect in baseball last season. The 24-year-old Murray will probably start the season in the minors but could certainly spend time with the team this season.

I selected two players in the Rule 5 draft, outfielder Brandon Marsh and infielder Luis Victoriano Garcia. I also signed Jeurys Familia to a one-year deal for $3M (and got a warning that he has a Bad Personality when I did) and first baseman Josh Bell to a one-year deal for $1.5M.

Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Todd Helton joined the Hall of Fame. 22-year-old Cuban rookie Ismael Ricalday signed a seven-year deal for $137M with the Phillies, and Christian Yelich signed a six-year deal worth $138M with the Dodgers.

I neglected to mention that the trade deadline was moved back to August 31. Any player is eligible to be traded, as well as any draft pick.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:54 AM   #9
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Opening Day 2022

We made it through spring training without any horrible injuries. Charles Bronfman Jr. expects us to stay respectable on the field. We're projected to finish 75-81 by the pundits. Not bad!

Despite our young "talent," we have no one listed in the top 100 prospects. Sergio Ortiz, a 19-year-old pitcher in the Marlins organization, is the top overall prospect.

We open the season with our ace Luke Weaver, our most expensive player at $9.1M, a 28-year-old right-hander who was 9-8 with a 4.10 ERA with the Cardinals last season. A.J. Puckett, Nabil Crismatt, Austin Gomber and Griffin Jax round out the rotation; all four of them have a slight amount of major-league experience, but less than three years combined among the four of them.

The bullpen is a relative strength, with closer Jeurys Familia (147 career saves) and setup men Jared Miller (3.00 ERA last year) and Andres Munoz (2.80). Richard Lovelady, our second-highest paid player ($1.9M) returns from a strained oblique in a few days and should provide a boost as well (3.34).

The lineup is... not great.
RF Kyler Murray (24, acquired by trading Keone Kela, looks like a good all-around player)
SS Emerson Jimenez (27, capable defensive shortstop who gets on base a bit)
LF Brandon Marsh (24, good corner outfielder with some speed and pop)
DH Chad Wesley Smith (24, good contact and power)
3B Miguel Andujar (27, decent third baseman with two years MLB experience, but hit just .201 last year)
1B Josh Bell (29, our most accomplished hitter, with three straight 20-homer seasons)
2B Brett Netzer (25, good defensive second baseman who can get on base)
CF Tirso Ornelas (22, fairly good all around, but has never played about High A)
C Jake Rogers (26, excellent defensive catcher but not much with the bat)

Murray, Jimenez, Marsh, Netzer and Ornelas are all making their MLB debuts!!

Weaver did not disappointment in the Expos' return to MLB, going six innings and allowing just two runs, but Noah Syndergaard struck out 10 over 7 1/3 innings as the Mets won 2-0. Emerson Jimenez had the first hit in Expos history- a triple in the first inning.
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:08 AM   #10
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May 1, 2022

We recorded the first win in franchise history in the second game of the season, a 5-4 win over the Mets in which Josh Bell hit the first Expos home run, and Kyler Murray drove in three with a bases-clearing double. A.J. Puckett got the win, and Sam Keating the save after Jeurys Familia had to leave the game with an injury.

We ushered in Labatt Park on April 12 with an 8-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves. The Expos won their first game in their new home field the next day, a 3-2 win behind solid pitching from Nabil Crismatt and three hits (including a home run) by Chad Wesley Smith.

However, it was a difficult month overall, with the Expos putting together an 8-15 record in April. There have not been a lot of bright spots so far, particularly in the bullpen, which has a league-worst 7.40 ERA. Brandon Marsh and Bell both have five home runs, and Chad Wesley Smith leads the team with a .333 average.

I picked up shortstop Marcos Brito as a waiver claim from Oakland. The 22-year-old had not played above high-A ball prior to this year but was actually out of options, and since (for some reason) he can only play shortstop, carrying him on the active roster means that we need three reserve infielders.

Around the league:
Portland is off to a better start than us, with an 11-12 record. Their rookie Rule 5 pick Franmil Reyes was the Rookie of the Month in the AL.
J.D. Martinez (STL) and Nolan Arenado (COL) hit their 300th career home runs.

Last edited by jaa36; 08-24-2018 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:13 AM   #11
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June 1, 2022

The Expos ran off a five-game winning streak en route to a 15-12 May. Our record is now 23-27 overall, which is unfortunately still last place in the NL East. The surge was led in large part by the pitching, including starters Griffin Jax (4-0, 3.06) and A.J. Puckett (2-0, 2.61). Brandon Marsh (.293, 9 doubles) was solid at the plate, Brett Netzer had two walk-off hits in the month, and Jeren Kendall had a walk-off home run. We dropped two games out of three to our expansion counterparts the Beavers in our only series of the season.

Around the league:
-Clayton Kershaw won his 200th career game.
-Manny Machado was the latest to join the 300 home run club.
-That guy Franmil Reyes (POR) now has 20 home runs! Why didn't we pick him up?!?
-The Cubs have the best record in baseball at 34-16.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:44 PM   #12
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July 1, 2022

The Expos went 14-11 in June and briefly pulled above .500 (on the wings of another five-game winning streak) before dropping their last four games to end the month at 37-38 overall. Nabil Crismatt was 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA on the month, Brett Netzer hit .270 with four home runs, and Brandon Marsh hit .298 and drove in 11 runs; the Rule 5 pick leads the club with 2.9 WAR on the season. A.J. Puckett has emerged as the all-around ace of the staff, with a 6-3 record and a 3.29 ERA.

With the #2 overall pick in the draft, I selected Jerry Barrett, a 17-year-old left-hander. Barrett has a good fastball and slider- the question is whether he can develop his changeup enough to be a capable starting pitcher. Our second pick was Murdock Mendelson, a 21-year-old Canadian outfielder with good power. Our next few picks were Ian Boyd (high school pitcher), Luis Zavala (high school outfielder), and Shawn Gorenflo (high school pitcher). By this point we've signed four of the top five picks; Zavala is asking for more than $8.5M as a bonus, so I'll contemplate that depending on which international free agents look like good deals.

I traded Jeurys Familia to the Angels for left-handed pitcher Zach Guth, a 25-year-old who was actually rated as the #10 overall prospect heading into this season. Guth had a 2.89 ERA in 28 relief innings with the Angels. He has a good fastball and curveball, but it remains to be seen whether his slider or changeup will become good enough that he'll be a capable starter. Worth the risk for Familia, who was on a one-year deal; after I dealt him, the clubhouse let me know they appreciated me cutting ties with him. Jared Miller replaces him as the closer. I've also looked at dealing Luke Weaver, without success thus far.

Richard Lovelady strained his groin and will miss the month, the first major injury anyone on the Expos has suffered.

Around the league:
-Ka'ai Tom (MIN) had a six-hit game.
-Andrew McCutchen (TOR) hit his 300th career home run.
-The Reds, Yankees, Athletics and Cubs lead their divisions midway through the season.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:47 AM   #13
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August 1, 2022

We went an even 12-12 in July and our record stands at 49-50. We had a few extra-inning wins, most notably a 13-inning win over the Diamondbacks in which light-hitting catcher Jake Rogers had a walk-ff single. Reliever Andres Munoz had a great month out of the bullpen, with a 1.46 ERA. Marcos Brito, our April waiver claim, has been fabulous in part-time duty, hitting .330. Brandon Marsh (.290/11/52) has continued his excellent season, and he, A.J. Puckett (8-4, 3.50) and Julian Fernandez (2.59) were all selected to the all-star game.

We are 11 games out of first place in the NL East, but believe it or not, we are right in the thick of the Wild Card race! With this in mind, and as I remained unable to unload Luke Weaver's contract, I traded minor-league outfielder Oscar Rojas to the Astros for closer Roberto Osuna, who in this universe had not been involved in a horrific instance of domestic violence. Osuna recently returned from a broken arm, but has not given up a run in 10 innings thus far, and will immediately occupy the closer's role.

I signed Dominican switch-hitter Juan "Soda" Collazo to a $7.5M bonus. Collazo profiles as either a corner outfielder or a first baseman. If all goes well, he'd end up with elite contact and very good power, as well as elite speed. I had my eye on another young player, Juan "Zoombiya" Longoria, but he ended up going for $19M, out of our price range. I wasn't able to reel in our third-round pick Luis Zavala even with offering him $11M.

Around the league:
-The NL won the all-star game 15-2 behind two home runs by outfielder Lewin Diaz (PIT).
-Bryce Harper (WAS) hit his 300th career home run.
-Trea Turner (WAS) signed an extension for six years, $139M.
-Mookie Betts (BOS) has an active 26-game hitting streak.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:09 PM   #14
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September 1, 2022

A losing month (11-16) leaves on the outside of the playoff race looking in, seven games behind the Mets for the final playoff spot. In retrospect, I probably should have sold instead of bought! Oh well, it was worth it to try to get the Expos to the postseason in their first year back. Roberto Osuna had seven saves in his first month with the club, and A.J. Puckett and Austin Gomber continued to pitch well. Josh Bell hit .404 with four home runs and had a walk-off single in the 14th inning against the Phillies; I offered him an extension for one year, $2.5M.

Around the league:
-The Yankees have locked up a postseason spot, but there are close races in the other three divisions, which are led by the Royals, the Braves and the Cubs.
-Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) hit his 500th career home run. At 32, he still has elite power (37 home runs this year), but his other skills are starting to slip.
-Jake Ring (BAL) hit for the cycle.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:25 PM   #15
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October 6, 2022

The Expos' first season has come to an end with a record of 73-83. The team sagged down the stretch, with another losing month (11-14) in September. We were outscored by 121 runs, so finishing only ten games under .500 was something of an accomplishment.

There were quite a few bright spots in the first year of baseball's return to Montreal. Our two Rule 5 picks, Brandon Marsh and Luis Victoriano Garcia, were actually our top two position players. Marsh in particular excelled, leading the team with 2.2 WAR, 36 doubles and 16 home runs. Josh Bell was a capable first baseman and agreed to a $2.5M extension for next season. The catching tandem was quite good defensively and passable offensively. Tirso Ornelas wasn't so good in center field, but at age 22 has plenty of room to improve. Joe Dunand, who filled in at first and third, was our biggest liability offensively.

The rotation was remarkably durable, with the top five starters throwing every game but one. A.J. Puckett was the best all around, a solid 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA. Austin Gomber led the team with a 3.62 ERA. Luke Weaver was something of a disappointment, walking 105 against 145 strikeouts and compiling a 5.47 ERA. The bullpen was a strength, and Julian Fernandez was the best of the lot, with a 2.65 ERA.

Near the end of the season, rookie Luis Patino asked the club to support his local charity; we did so, though I'm not sure what effect that will have.

I'd consider first-year manager Luis Lara a success overall, and he's under contract for one more year. I also extended pitching coach Shaun Farley and trainer Chad Senise for three years; hitting coach Kevin Cleveland's contract expires this year and I'll seek a replacement for him. I haven't mentioned scouting director Kevin Poindexter yet, but his name alone means I'll keep him around for a while. The same is true for assistant GM Jim Steele.

Around the league:
-Mike Trout (LAA) hit his 400th career home run.
-Daniel Murphy (NYM) got his 2000th hit.
-The Yankees, Royals, Reds and Diamondbacks won their divisions and will have first-round byes. New York had the best record in baseball, at 95-61.
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:30 AM   #16
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November 20, 2022

The Cincinnati Reds defeated the New York Yankees in five games to win the World Series. It was their first championship since 1990. The Reds were led by an aging Joey Votto, who still had a .420 OBP at the age of 39, and outfielder Taylor Trammell, who hit .300, scored 135 runs, and stole 54 bases.

AL MVP: Mike Trout, LAA (.280/51/115, 8.1)
NL MVP: Charlie Blackmon, COL (.336/42/125, 7.1)
AL Cy Young: Luis Severino, NYY (16-6, 3.33, 5.7)
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, LAD (17-5, 3.10, 6.1)

Right fielder Kyler Murray won a Gold Glove, our only award winner.

For the Expos, Charles Bronfman Jr. was happy with our performance thus far. Our goals are achievable: play close to .500 next year, upgrade at second base within three years, make the postseason within six years. I signed Richard Lovelady, Jared Miller, Julian Fernandez and Miguel Andujar to extensions; all four were arbitration-eligible. I let Luke Weaver go without offering arbitration. Our new hitting coach is Dave Hansen.

Around the league:
-Manny Machado signed a six-year extension worth $207M.
-Corey Kluber retired and announced he is running for Congress.
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:30 PM   #17
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offseason 2022-23

I encountered a lot of sticker shock in the free agent market so despite having ~$60M in budget room, stayed away from the biggest name free agents. I signed reliever Frankie Montas (12-10, 3.72, 27 saves with OAK last year) for just $1.2M, and outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz (24 years old, good power but just a cup of coffee with the Phillies before becoming a minor-league free agent) to a minor league contract worth $1M if he makes the majors. I picked up outfielder Erickvi Celedonio, a 22-year-old outfielder with a good offensive profile, from the Blue Jays in the Rule 5 draft. I traded reliever Sam Keating, who had a rough year with us last season (5.80 ERA), for infielder Colton Welker, who hit .321/19/93 as a rookie with the Rockies last season. Welker is an excellent defensive first baseman and can also play first.

The biggest move- and one of questionable wisdom- was trading minor league catcher Hagen Donner to the Angels for second baseman Tatsuma "Dude" Kudo, a 36-year-old with declining defensive abilities who is making $37M this year in his second year of arbitration. Kudo came over from Japan after the 2018 season, and all he's done in Los Angeles is hit, with four straight seasons of at least 34 home runs and 4.1 WAR. The Angels will pick up $9M of his salary for this season. He incidentally fulfills our owner's desire for a better second baseman, though I'll train him up at first base during the spring, and I may trade him away at the deadline if we're out of contention. Kudo is immediately far and away our best hitter.

Around the league:
-No one was selected for the Hall of Fame this year. Carlos Beltran got the most support, at 58%.
-Franklin Barreto (OAK) lost his dog but found him again.
-Gary Sanchez signed the biggest free agent contract of the offseason, with the Marlins (?!?) for $253M over seven years.
-Andrew Benintendi signed with Detroit for six years, $161M.
-The Athletics and Rays will open their new parks this season. The Athletics will play at Oracle Field, at the site of the old Coliseum. The Rays will play at Publix Park. I gave their budgets both a $15M boost under the foolish thought that their ownership would liberalize spending with new stadiums.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:52 PM   #18
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April 2, 2023

We head into 2023 projected to finish 82-74. Charles Bronfman Jr. expects us to keep close to an even record.

Last year's ace A.J. Puckett will start on Opening Day. Zach Guth, rookie Luis Patino, Nabil Crismatt and Austin Gomber round out the rotation. Jared Miller starts the season as the closer.

Surprisingly, we had no one in the top 100 prospects, and have the worst system in baseball! In fact, a look at the player development tab suggests we don't even have anyone in the top 250!! I'll blame this on scouting director Kevin Poindexter, as it can't be my fault.

The lineup will be:
CF Kyler Murray (shifting from right field)
SS Marcos Brito
2B Tatsuma Kudo
LF Brandon Marsh
1B Colton Welker
DH Josh Bell
3B Jorge Ramirez (a minor-league free agent)
RF Tirso Ornelas
C Jake Rogers
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:07 PM   #19
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May 1, 2023

April went about as poorly as I could possible imagine. We lost 11 games in a row en route to a 4-20 record. We've lost 14 of the last 15. If I hadn't checked "cannot be fired" I would be concerned about my job security.

We have exactly two bright spots- Tatsuma Kudo and the bullpen- and the rest is misery. Kudo is off to a good start: .319/5/14. The relievers have a 3.42 ERA overall. But generally, the games have been lost well before they get to the bullpen. "Ace" A.J. Puckett is 0-3 with a 7.92 ERA, and rookie Luis Patino (he of the noble charity) is 0-4, 6.67.

I claimed outfielder Carlos David Rodriguez off waivers. Rodriguez is a pure center fielder, and at 22 years old could develop into a great player for us, but of course for now is hitting .089, because he plays for the Expos. I almost signed reliever Corey Knebel for $10M, but lost in the bidding war, which is retrospect was good, because um, I don't need a closer.

Around the league:
-The Cubs have the best record in baseball at 19-5.
-Vladmir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) has 13 home runs already.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:21 AM   #20
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June 1, 2023

May was, uh, better than April. After dropping five more games to open the month, we won 11 of the last 15 games to finish with a 14-13 record in May, leaving us at 18-33 overall. And out of last place! Hurray.

Luis Patino turned things around nicely, with a 1.55 ERA, and Connor Jones provided some excellent relief (0.78). Brandon Marsh (.333/4/16) was briefly back to last year's form. Tatsuma Kudo sustained an oblique injury and missed most of the month, but should be back soon before he's promptly traded away.

Speaking of trades, reliever Frankie Montas (4.44 ERA) complained about his role on the team. Well, we can't have that, so I shipped him to Arizona for pitcher Juan Ramirez, a 21-year-old former first-round pick. Ramirez has great stuff, though his control leaves something to be desired. He has great stamina, and there's still a chance that he develops his change-up, which would make him a dominating starter. As it stands, Ramirez will probably end up as a very good late-inning reliever. The Diamondbacks turned around and signed Montas (who we had for $1.2M) to a two-year extension worth $26M.

With the draft approaching, I checked in on last year's first-round pick, Jerry Barrett. Unfortunately, just a few months after the draft, young Jerry tore his UCL, but not worry, he'll be back soon, and appears to be a hollow shell of what he once was. You may debate my wisdom for drafting a high school pitcher with the #2 overall pick.

Around the league:
-Robinson Cano (SF) got his 3000th career hit. At age 40, Robbie's still a pretty good hitter and can probably play another year or two.
-Andrew McCutchen (HOU) got his 2000th.
-Bryce Harper (WAS) had a 28-game hitting streak.
-The White Sox's rebuild finally seems to be paying off, as they have a league-best 36-15 record.
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