Saturday, October 24, 2009
1969 NL Expansion
In 1969, expansion added 4 new teams, unleashing 100 "major-league" players on the public. The National League added the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres. It had been seven years since the previous NL expansion added the Mets and Colt .45s (later renamed Astros).
This time, the expansion draft guidelines were going to be more favorable to the new teams. (I guess they wanted to avoid another team losing 120 games!) Each established team would protect 15 players on their 40-man rosters, and the Expos and Padres would each select up to 30 players (3 per established team, so that the existing teams would each lose a total of 6 players). When a team lost a player, they could protect 3 more players on their roster. (So, each team would theoretically lose their 16th, 20th, 24th, 28th, 32nd, and 36th best players.)
Here's how it went (click to enlarge):
After the draft (held in October 1968), teams also signed free agents, made rule 5 draft picks, trades, etc. The deals listed above were those that occurred before opening day 1969.
Notice that Johnny Podres is listed with the Padres. He had been out of baseball in 1968, but came back at age 36 for one season with the Padres.
The Phillies' Larry Jackson decided to retire, rather than to play for an expansion team. For compensation, the Phillies offered a group of players from which the Expos could choose one. When they chose shortstop Bobby Wine, this cleared out the Phillies roster of all their major-league shortstops (Bobby Wine, Gary Sutherland, Roberto Pena). No matter, it was already planned that Don Money would be promoted from triple-A and handed the shortstop job in 1969.
Out of the above collection of prospects, has-beens, never-weres, and other assorted backups, the teams settled on these lineups:
Next time: The 1969 American League expansion
10/13/2013 edit: I just found another blog entry about expansion today. It never occurred to me that Mickey Mantle would be left unprotected, but it doesn't make sense to protect him.