What could have been if the Expos had kept all the great players they had?

Sometimes I wonder if the Montreal Expos still would have been the Montreal Expos if they had kept all the great players that they produced and had on their roster.

Especially in the 90s they had a lot of good players on their roster that had great careers elsewhere later. But in general the Expos produced a lot of good players that could have brought a championship if they would have stayed in Montreal.

Take Andres Galarraga. This first baseman broke into the Majors in 1985 and played for the team until 1991 when he was traded St. Louis for SP Ken Hill.
Another fine first baseman was Greg Colbrunn. He broke into the bigs with the Expos in 1992 and played only two seasons before he was traded to the Marlins. Five times in his career he batted over .300 and he ended his career with a lifetime BA of .289.

Mark Grudzielanek (2B) played for the Expos from 1995 until halfway the 1998 season when he was traded to the Dodgers. Grudzielanek posted a lifetime batting average of .289.
Another good second baseman was Delino DeShields. In his years with the Expos his batting average came close to .300. He played for the Expos from 1990 through 1993. In the 1993/1994 off season he was traded to the Dodgers in exchange for a certain Pedro Martinez

Orlando Cabrera (SS) made his MLB debut with the Expos in 1997. His defense was questionable at times, but he could hit (lifetime BA of .272). In 2003 he finished second in batting average (.297) among shortstops. During the 2004 season he was traded to Boston.

Tim Wallach wasn’t the best hitter nor was he a slick fielder, but he was good enough to stay in the Majors for a seventeen year career mainly at third base.

Raul Chavez didn’t excell at the plate but he had some nice defensive skills as a catcher. Especially in his years that he played for Houston he had a few seasons in which he threw out more potential base stealers than the league average.

Marquis Grissom (OF) debuted with the Expos in 1989 and played with the team until he was traded to the Braves in April 1995. He had his best year at bat with the Expos in 1993 when he hit .298. He ended his career with a life time average of .272.

Moises Alou (OF) was the son of manager Felipe Alou. Moises broke into the bigs in 1990 with the Pirates and was traded to Montreal in that very same year. He became a main force of the Expos in 1992. During his years with the Expos he hit above .300 once but as his career continued with other teams his batting improved this much that he ended with a lifetime average of .303.

Larry Walker (OF) debuted with the Expos in 1989. He stayed with the team until 2005. After the final season of the Expos in Montreal, he signed with the Rockies and was a major reason that the team reached the play offs for the first time in their existence.

Vladimir Guerrero (OF) played for the Expos from 1996 until 2004 when he signed with the Anaheim Angels as a free agent. Guerrero was rather injury prone but he was a helluva hitter with a life time average .318.

Pitchers:

Randy Johnson Do I need to say more?

Pedro Martinez No comment 😉

Dennis Martinez Doesn’t need much of an introducton either. He played eight years for the Expos before joining the Cleveland Indians in 1994.

Relief pitcher Jeff Reardon came from the New York Mets in a trade that sent Ellis Valentine to New York. WIth the Expos he had periods of inconsistency but overall he was a very reliable reliever who earned 146 saves for the Expos before being traded to Minnesota in 1987.  Reardon sported a life time ERA of 3.18.

John Wetteland will be most remembered for his World Championship season with the Yankees, but he played for the Expos from 1992 through 1994. He appeared in 189 games in which he converted 105 saves in 130 opportunities.

This is not a rant against Jeffrey Loria. Most (if not all) of the players that are mentioned above were not on the squad when he owned the team.

But just imagine what a great team this could have been if players like Randy Johnson, Larry Walker, Vladimir Guerrero and Pedro Martinez would have signed to good contracts. Maybe the team had not been sold to this fraud who now owns the Marlins in an orchestrated move by Bud Selig. Maybe the team had won a championship even before 2004. Unfortunately we will never know.

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