Imagining the Return of the Montreal Expos

The Protected:

AL West:

Los Angeles Angels:
Mike Trout – OF
Kole Calhoun – OF
Garrett Richards – SP
Andrew Heaney – SP
Hector Santiago – SP
Tyler Skaggs – SP
Huston Street – RP
Albert Pujols – 1B
C.J. Cron – 1B
Andrelton Simmons – SS
Carlos Perez – C
Victor Alcantara – SP, (#2 prospect)
Kaleb Cowart – 3B, (#5 prospect)
C.J. Wilson – SP (no-trade clause)
Jered Weaver – SP (no-trade clause)

The Angels do get stuck with Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson here, but for the most part, they are able to retain the bulk of their talent but also lose a lot of their supporting cast. An Angels team built around this core likely would fall out of contention.

Texas Rangers:
Yu Darvish – SP
Cole Hamels – SP
Joey Gallo – 3B, (#1 prospect)
Shawn Tolleson – RP
Sam Dyson – RP
Derek Holland – SP
Adrian Beltre – 3B (10-5 rights)
Rougned Odor – 2B
Elvis Andrus – SS (no-trade clause)
Prince Fielder – DH
Shin-Soo Choo – OF
Delino DeShields– OF
Nomar Mazara – OF, (#2 prospect)
Colby Lewis – SP
Mitch Moreland – 1B

The Rangers hit home runs, and they get to keep all of their sluggers here while also retaining the pitching staff. This Rangers team takes a few losses on the outside but overall stay strong and would likely remain in contention in the AL West.

Houston Astros:
Carlos Correa – SS
Jose Altuve – 2B
George Springer – OF
Dallas Keuchel – SP
Lance McCullers – SP
Collin McHugh – SP
Ken Giles – RP
Evan Gattis – DH
Luke Gregerson – RP
Tony Sipp – RP
Carlos Gomez – OF
Jake Marisnick – OF
A.J. Reed – 1B, (#2 prospect)
Mike Fiers – SP
Preston Tucker – OF

The Astros, too, are able to remain a playoff team as their lineup is very deep and a rotation headed by Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers isn’t half bad either. Astros remain strong contenders.

Seattle Mariners:
Robinson Cano – 2B
Nelson Cruz – OF/DH
Kyle Seager – 3B
Ketel Marte – SS
Felix Hernandez – SP (10-5 rights)
Taijuan Walker – SP
Wade Miley – SP
Hisashi Iwakuma – SP
Nori Aoki – OF
Boog Powell – OF, (#8 prospect)
Tony Zych – P, (#17 prospect)
Mike Zunino – C
Mike Montgomery – SP
Joaquin Benoit – RP
Leonys Martin – OF

The Mariners run off the efforts of Cano, Cruz, Seager, and Hernandez. They would be fine and would leapfrog the Angels in the division power rankings.

Oakland A’s:
Sonny Gray – SP
Chris Bassitt – SP
Kendall Graveman – SP
Josh Reddick – OF
Marcus Semien – SS
Yonder Alonso – 1B
Billy Butler – DH
Danny Valencia – 3B
Stephen Vogt – C
Sean Doolittle – RP
Ryan Madson – RP
Jed Lowrie – SS
Khris Davis – OF
Coco Crisp – OF (no trade clause)
Billy Burns – OF

For a rebuilding A’s team there wouldn’t be much for an expansion team to choose from in the first place, and with all the protected players the A’s likely wouldn’t lose anyone at all. Meanwhile, Billy Beane calls Rob Manfred asking to trade Gray and Reddick for two spots in the expansion draft.

AL Central: 

Kansas City Royals:
Salvador Perez – C
Alcides Escobar – SS
Mike Moustakas – 3B
Eric Hosmer – 1B
Alex Gordon – OF
Lorenzo Cain – OF
Yordano Ventura – SP
Edinson Volquez – SP
Ian Kennedy – SP
Kyle Zimmer – SP (#2 prospect)
Kelvin Herrera – RP
Joakim Soria – RP
Wade Davis – RP
Raul Mondesi – SS (#1 prospect)
Jarrod Dyson – OF

The Royals are squeezed here but for the most part are successful in keeping the essential cogs of their championship team together. The rotation mostly stays together, but the Royals do possibly lose bullpen pieces Luke Hochevar and Chris Young, as well as World Series hero Christian Colon.

Chicago White Sox:
Chris Sale – SP
Carlos Rodon – SP
Jose Quintana – SP
Carson Fulmer – SP
Jose Abreu – 1B
Todd Frazier – 3B
Brett Lawrie – 2B
Adam Eaton – OF
David Robertson – RP
Nate Jones – RP
Jimmy Rollins – SS
Tim Anderson – SS
Melky Cabrera – OF
Avisail Garcia – OF/DH
Austin Jackson – OF

The Whit Sox are hopeful contenders in 2016, and even if there was an expansion draft after season’s end the Sox would be able to fit all their key contributors underneath the protection, most notably their trio of lefties and top prospect Carson Fulmer. Chris Sale demands additional slots be added for family members.

Detroit Tigers:
Miguel Cabrera – 1B (10-5 rights)
Victor Martinez – DH
J.D. Martinez – OF
Justin Upton – OF
Justin Verlander – SP (10-5 rights)
Anibal Sanchez – SP
Jordan Zimmerman – SP
Daniel Norris – SP
Ian Kinsler – 2B
James McCann – C
Francisco Rodriguez – RP
Steven Moya – OF
Shane Greene – SP
Jose Iglesias – SS
Nick Castellanos – 3B

With a high-powered offense like the Tigers have, the first priority is keeping your sluggers around to keep the offense running. The Tigers really don’t have that much pitching to protect, but they would keep their top 3 starters and top prospect Daniel Norris, leaving them in the thick of the AL Central Race.

Cleveland Indians:
Corey Kluber – SP
Danny Salazar – SP
Carlos Carrasco – SP
Michael Brantley – OF
Yan Gomes – C
Francisco Lindor – SS
Jason Kipnis – 2B
Carlos Santana – 1B
Juan Uribe – 3B
Tyler Naquin – OF
Cody Allen – RP
Trevor Bauer – SP
Cody Anderson – SP
Zach McAllister – RP
Marlon Byrd – OF

Opposite of the Tigers, the Indians’ first priority is to keep the pitching staff intact because as long as they have arguably the AL’s best rotation and the tandem of Michael Brantley and Francisco Lindor they, would be fine.

Minnesota Twins:
Miguel Sano – OF
Joe Mauer – 1B (10-5 rights)
Brian Dozier – 2B
Trevor Plouffe – 3B
Byron Buxton – OF
Byung-ho Park – DH
Ervin Santana – SP
Phil Hughes – SP
Kyle Gibson – SP
Jose Berrios – SP
Glen Perkins – RP (10-5 rights)
Kevin Jepsen – RP
Tyler Duffey -RP
Tommy Milone – SP
John Ryan Murphy – C

The Twins wouldn’t suffer major losses here either, as the priority would be to keep Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, and Miguel Sano together, although they really wouldn’t be able to afford to lose any pitching.

AL East:

New York Yankees:
Didi Gregorius – SS
Starlin Castro – 2B
Masahiro Tanaka – SP
Michael Pineda -SP
Nathan Eovaldi – SP
Dellin Betances – RP
Andrew Miller – RP
Aroldis Chapman – RP
Mark Teixeira – 1B
Alex Rodriguez – DH (10-5 rights)
Jacoby Ellsbury – OF (no-trade clause)
Carlos Beltran – OF (no-trade clause)
Luis Severino – SP
Brian McCann – C (no-trade clause)
CC Sabathia – SP (no-trade clause)

Any losses the Yankees would take they could conceivably replace through free agency (hooray big market!) but they still would want to protect their most precious assets, especially that bullpen, although thanks to a handful of no-trade clauses handed to aging and expensive veterans, the Yankees put a lot of their top prospects out there for the draft, most notably Aaron Judge and Greg Bird.

Tampa Bay Rays:
Chris Archer – SP
Jake Odorizzi – SP
Matt Moore – SP
Alex Cobb – SP
Drew Smyly – SP
Erasmo Ramirez – SP
Brad Boxberger – RP
Alex Colome – RP
Steven Souza Jr. – OF
Logan Forsythe – 2B
Evan Longoria – 3B
Kevin Kiermaier – OF
Corey Dickerson – OF
Blake Snell – SP
Brad Miller – SS

With a lack of offensive firepower, the Rays would make sure to keep their elite pitching staff together, as they have consistently ridden the backs of their pitching to relevance.

Baltimore Orioles:
Manny Machado – 3B
Adam Jones – OF (10-5 rights)
Chris Davis – 1B
Jonathan Schoop – 2B
Caleb Joseph – C
Darren O’Day – RP
Zach Britton – RP
Dylan Bundy – SP/RP
Kevin Gausman – SP
Chris Tillman – SP
Yovani Gallardo – SP
Pedro Alvarez – 1B/DH
Mark Trumbo – 1B/OF
Mychal Givens -RP
Joey Rickard – OF

Meet the team that could hit 500 homers this year, your 2016 Baltimore Orioles. The only way the Orioles could contend is through their offense, so that is the top priority, and with hope still around Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy the two most important pitchers outside of the top bullpen arms are protected as well.

Boston Red Sox:
David Price – SP
David Ortiz – DH (10-5 rights)
Eduardo Rodriguez – SP
Clay Buchholz – SP
Joe Kelly – SP
Xander Bogaerts – SS
Travis Shaw – 1B/3B
Hanley Ramirez – 1B
Yoan Moncada – 2B
Dustin Pedroia – 2B
Mookie Betts – OF
Jackie Bradley Jr. – OF
Brock Holt – Super-utility
Craig Kimbrel – RP
Carson Smith – RP

The Red Sox keep their future and present intact by keeping the likes of David Price and David Ortiz around but also protect future assets like Travis Shaw and Yoan Moncada. The Red Sox are arguably the team best off even after the expansion draft due to not protecting and hopefully losing Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo‘s contracts.

Toronto Blue Jays:
Josh Donaldson – 3B
Troy Tulowitzki – SS
Edwin Encarnacion – DH (10-5 rights)
Jose Bautista – OF (10-5 rights)
Kevin Pillar – OF
Devon Travis – 2B
Marcus Stroman – SP
Aaron Sanchez – SP
Roberto Osuna – RP
Drew Storen – RP
Marco Estrada – SP
Russell Martin – C
J.A. Happ – SP
Dalton Pompey – OF
Michael Saunders – OF

If you thought the Orioles and Tigers ran off their offense, meet the Blue Jays, who especially rely on the longball thanks to Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion. Of course, young rotation assets Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez must also be protected in order to remain in the playoff race.

2 Responses

  1. Zach

    You’d be crazy to think that the Cubs would be willing to let Javier Baez go like that. No way in hell they keep Ben Zobrist or John Lackey over him. Baez will be with the Cubs for years, while Zobrist and Lackey are both towards the end of their careers.

    Reply
  2. Deez nutsenthal

    OMG OMG PLEASE PLEASE BRING BACK THE EXPOS I COULD GUARANTEE I WOULD BUY SEASON TICKETS AS SOON AS THEY WERE ANNOUNCED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!1

    Reply

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