INDIANS’ COLON REMOVED: I thought it was a joke when I first heard it too: the Montreal Expos (yes, those Montreal Expos, the contraction-bound Montreal Expos) acquired Bartolo Colon, the top pitcher available this year for an in-season trade, for Lee Stevens and three prospects. And it’s not just the contraction business that makes this bizarre: for the past decade the Expos have made a habit of trading virtually all of their good players for prospects, and then later trading the prospects as soon as they became arbitration-eligible- Pedro Martinez and Larry Walker being only the most prominent examples. Oddly enough, the last time the Expos made a trade to acquire a frontline veteran starting pitcher for the pennant race was their 1990 deal for Mark Langston, for whom they gave up pitching prospects Brian Holman… and Randy Johnson. That’s a good way to explain their behavior since, although their horrible economic conditions are a better one. But hey- if the Expos can get Bartolo Colon, could Jim Thome-to-the-Twins be far behind?

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