Montreal Metros had one pitching gap after the departure of closer Joe Niceley, and they just filled it in a big way with a 2-year, $18 million deal given to former Dallas Deputies’ Jon Courteau.
The 31-year-old from Coram, NY will join an already stacked pitching staff, a traditional feature for the Montreal team. High profile free agent Ron Alder penned a 6-year deal to join the team just over a week ago, after nine years with the Kingston Cannons, where he left with a 68-44 record and 3.08 ERA.
The Metros also boast veteran Danny Tirado, who is 62-43 over his career with the club, with a 3.79 ERA, a successful innings eater who has worked well from the middle of the rotation for many seasons.
Last year’s Sandy Koufax Award winner, Judson Martel, is out with an injury but expected to rejoin in time for spring training next April, and should be healthy enough to anchor the rotation again for 2018. Yoshiaki Fujimura will likely take the spot behind him.
That will leave youngsters Alex Espinoza and Kenny Cartwright competing for the last starter’s spot.
Courteau joins a bullpen that includes two-time all-star and Bull Cup champion Francisco Aguero, second-year right-hander Alex ‘The Comet’ Martinez, and several other solid arms, which should mean that Montreal once again becomes the dominant pitching staff to beat in the Lake League next season.
Courteau is an elite closer who brings incredible, fierce talent, and a wicked 99 mph heater that ranks among the best in the league. He came close to winning the relief pitcher’s Woodchuck Trophy four times in his career, most recently placing 3rd in award voting for the 2017 season.