MLB Declined Montreal's Offer to Host Astros vs. Rangers After Hurricane Harvey

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 31:  Carlos Gomez #14 of the Texas Rangers steals second base ahead of shortstop Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros during the second inning of a game on August 31, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Major League Baseball turned down an offer from Montreal's mayor, Denis Coderre, to host a three-game series between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, which was forced to move from Minute Maid Park in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey.

On Thursday, Kamila Hinkson of CBC News passed along comments from Coderre, who said the distance from Texas to Canada played a role in the league's decision to play the games at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, instead.

"It was just to say, 'Listen, we are feeling for the people of Texas and that if we can be helpful, we want to be part of the solution,'" he said, adding: "If they need us, we're ready."

The Canadian city has worked to get itself back into MLB consideration over the past decade after losing the Montreal Expos—a franchise that existed from 1969 through 2004—following its relocation to become the Washington Nationals.

In July, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said the league wouldn't consider the possibility of expansion until stadium issues are worked out with the Rays and Oakland Athletics, per Mark Newman of MLB.com. He did mention Montreal as a possible landing spot if the league does grow.

"I know the mayor of Montreal has been very vocal about bringing baseball back to Montreal," Manfred said. "Charlotte's a possibility. And I'd like to think that Mexico City or some other place in Mexico would be a possibility."

Jon Morosi‏ of the MLB Network added Thursday that league officials have a "very favorable view" of Coderre and Montreal's business leaders following talks over the past few years.

Meanwhile, the Astros are scheduled to return home for a three-game series with the New York Mets, including a doubleheader Saturday, this weekend.