Montreal Expos Owner reggiedeal wanted to clear the air this afternoon. With regards to the reasoning behind the moves his team has made this offseason as well as future plans.
In a exclusive interview with the TMI studios today - the air was cleared.
Some owners have wanted to know what was going on in Montreal. Well this will take some explaining but here goes.
first, my starting pitching was weak. Keisler and Stoops were both injury risks, the ladder also had a horrible year last season. Guerrero was not worthy of being a starter and the veteran Lee is a health risk too. Clearly the rotation had to be upgraded. Additionally, I had only three real great players offensively, Martin could only play 1b, Womack could only play the corner outfield, and Terry and Womack both had serious issues of durability. My young SS also had durability issues, so I was often having to play guys out of position. My one strength was the bullpen and I could win a lot in the regular season, but post season was another issue because of these problems with my lineup and my rotation.
So why spend a lot of money on the vets like McCallum and Colome while trading away relief pitchers, it was to get guys in here who could play more and frankly get more at bats. both should do quite well in the offensive park that is the big O. both also can play many positions which gave us depth. By then signing another FA SS, trading for a young and ready to play 2b/cf, and trading Womack for another young guy who can hit, we were able to clear some salary to offset what we took on in the trades mentioned above. That then also allowed for pitching upgrades by adding two vets off the FA market, and taking a flyer on a minor league FA who will be an upgrade over Guerrero, we now have a rotation that is more stable and should hold up a lot easier, thus reducing the need for the great bullpen. Our best two relief guys are still here, Lee and Guerrero now move to the pin and out of the rotation. So while our team got older, it was able to become a much more flexible unit in terms of who we play and where we can play them defensively. We become more stable in the rotation and at the end of the day, our 8th and 9th inning guys are still here.
Is it a gamble by adding many 30-31 year old vets to the club, no doubt, but it is a gamble I had to take. I had only three key players who were major offensive forces and two of them were going to be potentially out of here in two seasons. As it is, I have two young guys who are ready to play now and will be here long term up the middle in Meadows and Ramano, an SS who will be here five years, two great stars who have two and three years remaining with my club, and I have not even mentioned the replacement of Martin at 1b with McDonald, which I look at as a deal that is best described as six of one, half dozen of the other. Long term do we have pitching issues, yes. But by adding Berg and Moss, that gives me time to get a couple of good pitching prospects during the seasons that follow and I have tallented guys who might fetch prospects when their contracts are up. As it is, I can now eventually let Lon and Vic walk away and still have a great club, when it was just Oscar Womack and Byron Terry, losing them would have meant the end of any chance of continued success. So I move two greats for several very good players.
One thing is for sure, this club looks nothing like the one that took the field the previous two seasons.