Although Montreal had trade talks with around 10 teams involving pitcher Ricky Ellis, the notoriously hesitative GM jaywil08 refused to pull the trigger. Montreal has been in need of starting pitching throughout the offseason, so it seemed strange that Ellis was even considered being traded.
1. CF Cesar Montanez- Montreal gave away their first round draft pick to sign a desperately needed lead-off hitter to a 5 year contract worth up to $37 Million
2. 2B Harry Rivera- This 23 year old second basemen has projected splits around 100 each. With his current contact rating at 90 and batting eye at 82, Rivera should be able to get on base, and often.
3. 1B Bennie Cruz- The 32 year old slugger should hit over 40 homeruns, if his health allows it.
4. RF Luis Borges- The 22 year old outfielder is expected to step in right away and succeed.
5. DH Alton Lidge- After Montanez was signed, some wondered whether the 34 year old outfielder was on his way out, but jaywil08 has insisted Lidge remains in their plans.
6. LF Carlos Ortiz- Ortiz may not last long with Montreal as a starter, expect a prospect to be brought up mid-season.
7. C Pep Kaufman- Montreal has several good C prospects, but Kaufman was the one chosen to step in this year. Kaufman will have to exceed expectations to keep his starting job for S2.
8. SS Albert Restovich- Montreal hopes that Restovich can put up decent fielding numbers to go with what should be a reliable bat.
9. 3B Tim Brown/Dave Blackwell- Blackwell will play mostly against righties, and should provide some pop to the bottom of the lineup.
Starters: 3 spots are up for grabs in spring training, only Rick Ellis and R.J. Medrano are guaranteed spots in the rotation.
Bullpen: A lot up for grabs here too, Mario Clay will be the closer and William Randolph wil likely be the featured setup man.
Outlook: If Montreal finds consistent pitching, they should be able to win over 90 games, otherwise it's possible Montreal will hover around .500.