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Over the past three seasons, the Expos have felt blessed that F.P. Santangelo can play six positions, because they dumped so many players that Felipe Alou never knew which hole he was going to have to fill next. But Santangelo, 30, is Montreal's starting leftfielder in '98. Playing every day should help the talented spark plugwho hit .249 last year despite being hampered by a bad kneefind a consistent stroke. If he can hit .285, it's a good bet some contending club will call in July and snatch him up in exchange for a couple of hot prospects. For the Expos, that constitutes a very successful season.
What They Needed: Restocking after their annual clearance sale of quality players, the Expos are always looking for cheap, young talent.
What They Got: Pitchers Miguel Batista, Shawn Boskie and Mike Maddux; outfielders Derrick May and Lee Tinsley; third baseman Scott Livingstone.
What it All Means: This team will be bad. Pedro Martinez, Henry Rodriguez and Mike Lansing had outstanding years, so they were traded. Now, sluggers Rondell White and Vladimir Guerrero must carry the load ... until they're traded. Meanwhile, the Expos win MLB's annual "Which team can sign the most insignificant pitchers?" award for landing Boskie and Maddux.
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