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Actually the Expos made Vlad a pretty solid contract offer while MLB was running the team. He (understandably) turned it down, due to the uncertainty of the situation in Montreal.
They didn't make an arbitration offer though. That should have been about as no-doubt of an offer as you could get, even though Vlad had some back issues that last year in Montreal.
Weaver was a protected pick at #12 overall. Would have gotten the Expos either Wes Whisler (second round pick that ended up with the White Sox for Colon) or Adam Lind (3rd rounder to Blue Jays for Kelvim Escobar).
I don't think this opinion is wrong by any means; it's just opposite from my personal preference.
Like you said, McGwire/Sosa stood out more than the Beltran types, and that's the kind of players people tend to talk about years later. If I'm telling my son about the greatest players of the 2000's in 10 years, there's a lot of guys I'll mention before I remember Beltran. If I'm talking about the late 90's, no one embodied that era better than Mac and Sammy.
That was just plain fun to see (YMMV, of course).
Sure, but they didn't care about such things by that point, since they weren't going to exist much longer. (Sucked for Nats fans, but not relevant for Expos.)
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