The Avocado Fantasy League Week 12/MLB Talk

My bad on missing last week! Things just got away from me and then on Tuesday night I realized I hadn’t done the post. Or maybe Monday night. One of those. Either way, it didn’t happen. Onwards!

Week 12 Avocado Fantasy League Results

• In an interesting turn of events, MLB has authorized the Tampa Bay Rays to explore splitting the team’s home games between St. Petersburg and Montreal. Montreal, of course, lost the Expos to Washington DC back in 2004 and while there has been spring exhibition games hosted at the Expos former home of Olympic Stadium, the venue reportedly is not considered to be in great shape which presents similar issues to the Rays current home Tropicana Field. The Rays (who are currently contracted to play all home games at the Trop through 2027) have been plagued by low attendance figures (typically ranking at the bottom of the league) and repeated, failed attempts to get plans for a new stadium off the ground. If anything (just my own opinion), this feels like a way for MLB to test the waters for future expansion by allowing Montreal to prove itself a viable host city again for an MLB club while also putting pressure on St. Petersburg to work out a deal for a new home for the Rays. There’s a lot of hurdles that the plan needs to jump past to come to fruition, as this article details. Not the least of which is the opposition of St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman.
ETA: For a more comprehensive breakdown of the legal hurdles, Sheryl Ring at Fangraphs has it covered.

• The current CBA doesn’t expire until the end of the 2021 season but the MLB and MLBPA are already beginning the next round of negotiations. There’s been a lot of rumblings of displeasure on both sides with the current course they’re headed down. Hopefully an early start on negotiations translates to avoiding the first work stoppage since 1994.

• The Yankees have a strong lead in the AL East and that’s with a good chunk of their lineup missing long stretches of time due to injury. They made an early trading season strike last weekend by acquiring 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion from the Mariners to share duties at those two positions with blossoming slugger Luke Voit (the Mariners acquired RHP Juan Then in the trade and are covering half of Encarnacion’s salary the remainder of the season). Couple that acquisition with the returns from injury of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton and we’re once again talking about a modern day Murderer’s Row in the Bronx this summer.

• Frankie Montas had been breaking out for the Oakland Athletics this season. He’d carried a 2.70 ERA through his first 15 starts of 2019 and looked like he was turning into a potential top of the rotation starter but the A’s will have to go through most of the rest of the season without him as MLB announced an 80 game suspension for the 26 year old, as well as news that he would be ineligible for the A’s postseason roster should they qualify this year. The A’s have several talented pitchers working their way back from injury right now but this is a sharp blow to their playoff contention.

What’s on your minds this week?