Tim Raines could be celebrating his 23-year Major League career in Cooperstown come July, but the former Expos star will spend this season with another Canadian team.
Raines, in his sixth year on the Hall of Fame ballot, will join the Blue Jays as a Minor League baserunning and outfield coach this season. An official announcement from Toronto is expected later this week.
Raines, 53, has served in various coaching roles since retiring in 2002. He served as the manager for Montreal's Class A Advanced affiliate in Brevard County in 2003, worked on the White Sox's staff from 2004-06 and joined the Harrisburg Senators as hitting coach in '07. He moved on to manage the Can-Am League's Newark Bears from 2009-11 before becoming an assistant coach and the club's director of player development.
Raines stole 808 bases in his career, the fifth-highest total of all time, and led the National League in steals for four straight seasons while playing for Montreal. The speedy leadoff hitter compiled a career .294 average, .385 on-base percentage and .425 slugging percentage in 2,502 big league games with the Expos, White Sox, Yankees, A's, Orioles and Marlins.
Raines finished fifth in last year's Hall of Fame voting, having been named on 48.7 percent of the ballots. This year's class of Hall inductees will be announced on Jan. 9.