Welcome Back to Chicago, Cliff Floyd

UPDATE: Here are the contract details, Floyd gets one year, guaranteed at $3 million. He has a vesting option that kicks in at either 425 plate appearances or 100 games started for 2008, and if it does vest, it becomes a player option and Floyd can opt-out and become a free agent once again. If it does not vest, the Cubs hold the 2008 option. He can make up to $7.5 million this year by reaching all of his games-played, plate-appearance and roster incentive levels. If he has 550 PA's in each of the next two season, he can make up to $17.5 million. If he gets to only 500 PA's in each of the next two years, he'll make up to $15.5 million. And now we know why this deal took so long to complete. ----- As AZ Phil pointed out, the Floyd deal is finally done. As I've mentioned in previous comments, I'm not completing against this deal despite it likely taking at-bats away from Matt Murton. Floyd can most definitely hit the righties (281/368/496 career) and that's likely all he'll be asked to do. It's certainly better than trotting out Todd Hollandsworth off your bench or as a starter, that's for sure. There is no doubt though that he's in a slow and steady decline though. Here are his charts (courtesy of Fangraphs.com) for his ISO and RC/27: ISO RC/27 Now until last year, he was still well above average and those are his total numbers versus righties and lefties. However his power is fading although a move out of Shea Stadium and the NL East can only help him. If Piniella uses him wisely, we'll hopefully get a bit more out of him than the Mets did last year. And well, just being average would be a whole lot better than anything else that came off our bench over the last few seasons. Of coure with Floyd, the injury bug-a-boo is bound to bite at sometime over the course of the season, leaving plenty of at-bats for Matt Murton anyway: AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi We'll see what the 40-man roster move will end up being and how much playing time he'll ultimately receive. I imagine he'd get most of the starts versus righties, but if there's a long string of them in a row and/or a day game after a night game, he'd sit for Murton. If everyone stays healthy, it'll likely be more of 50/50 split in playing time. But in the end, I don't mind the deal. There's certainly no guarantees that Murton, Lee, Jones or Soriano stay healthy and having some power and patience off the bench certainly can't hurt (Image courtesy of AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi).
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Comments

I give up, anybody know anything about Wordpress and how the hell I can get those 2 Fangraphs to display at full size? It won't let me put line breaks in and I put the right pixels sizes in the img tag..

I don't think you can because of the set width of the Wordpress stylesheet, but you could try to force the line breaks using the HTML editor of the post:


***LINE BREAK HERE***

Hmm, the code didn't show up, and I used the appropiate tags... weird.

I already tried the html editor and inserted P tags and br tags and nothing....

Ask Brandon... he should know what to do.

Rob...my guess is that you have an automatic thumbnail that gets created and then links to the real picture.

Interestingly...the RSS feed gives you the full images.

i got an email in to the powers that be...

I added the link myself to the fangraphs for the larger image.

Thanks for the help though....

A "juicy" rumor to make up for a slow news day...

Ronnie Belliard might play with the Veracruz Red Eagles of the Mexican League if he doesn't receive a major league contract in the next few days. Belliard also says that he has yet to receive a NRI thus far.

Article excerpt, for those who can read Spanish:

"El presidente de los Rojos del Águila de Veracruz, José Antonio Mansur Beltran, informó que después de su visita por República Dominicana, tuvo la oportunidad de platicar con el segunda base Ronnie Belliard, segunda base que fuera parte de los campeones Cardenales de San Luis para que se integre a los Rojos la próxima campaña."

Haha, Crunch is now featured on the "testimonials" section of the Fire Lou Piniella blog.

http://fireloupiniella.wordpress.com/endorsem...

ugh, at least it says MVN.com, not The Cub Reporter....

rather amusingly he chose the same Cliff Floyd image...

criticism skewed into comedy still doesnt change the fact he crossed the line of satire and injected his own real-world issues into the blog.

that's a hybrid that doesn't mix and its pretty sloppy.

you can rip off the onion (national lapoon, etc, whatever) or you can rip off a legit news/blogging site, but when you mix the two somewhere along the line someone forgot why they started doing something to begin with.

I like the new look of adding pictures, graphs, etc. to posts.

it no longer looks like some generic newspaper blog, too.

i like the launching of permalinks in separate browser windows, too.

i also like ice cream.

Did anyone see post these contract details? Not that they are likely to occur, but I hadn't seen them so sorry if its a double-post.

From Jayson Stark:

"There is just a one-year guarantee, at $3 million. But it contains a player option, a club option and a vesting option for 2008. If the option vests (at 425 plate appearances or 100 games started), Floyd has the right to opt out next winter and become a free agent. Otherwise, the club holds the option.

Floyd can earn up to $7.5 million in 2007 if he's healthy enough to reach all of his plate-appearance, games-played and roster incentive levels.

He can make up to $17.5 million over two years if he has 550 plate appearances in each of the next two years. He would make $15.5 million if he gets 500 plate appearances in each of the next two years."

oops...comments, not permalinks.

and i hate ice cream.

Here's a link for that Stark story...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Oh yea.... also this little bit of info concerning the Achilles:

"Because he is coming off an Achilles injury, there is language protecting the Cubs in case he injures either Achilles seriously enough that he would not make the Cubs' Opening Day roster in 2008."

"Because he is coming off an Achilles injury, there is language protecting the Cubs in case he injures either Achilles seriously enough that he would not make the Cubs’ Opening Day roster in 2008."

Nice.

thnx for the info...

wonder how many lawyers it took to piece that contract together..

crunch — January 24, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

wonder how many lawyers it took to piece that contract together..
-------------------

No doubt.... I guess that could explain the hold-up.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...

Floyd sure is jazzed about joining the team at least. Depending on what we do with the last spot on the bench, I love our depth.

Theriot
Murton/Floyd (depending on who's starting)
Ward
Blanco
Pagan (Cedeno, McGehee, Kinkade, who knows?)

Moore, E-Pat, Pie roaming around the minors as well, even Jake Fox possibly.

im loving the team...but not totally.

marquis, hill, and prior are guys i wanna see pitch before i even feel good about their situations, personally.

the bats, bench, defense, and pen (even without a 'strong closer') i like.

wow...that''s an interesting bit of what the hell ever i did there.

"the bats, bench, defense, and pen (even without a "strong closer") i like."

...btw, im not really worried about rich hill, but i wanna see what marquis/prior are throwing and how well they got a feel for it before i get too excited there.

sigh...

“the bats, bench, defense, and pen i like, even without a strong closer.”

":)'('")'(":)

woo.

http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Smilies

I think I asked for them to be disabled, but I can't recall.

:mrgreen:

:idea: needs more neifi :idea:

I'm all for building Murton for the future, but what does everyone think Lou should do if Floyd can somehow get healthy and play near his 2001/2005 level?

I get the impression from some that taking playing time away from Murton is out of the question in their mind.... basically that if Floyd is anything other than a 4th outfielder, they will be pissed.

Judging by Floyd's comments from the Muskrat article Rob linked to above, Floyd doesn't plan on just being a 4th outfielder, although he seems willing to do whatever role he is asked to be in this season...

If Floyd is healthy and playing well do you:

1) keep Floyd as the 4th outfielder for the sake of building Murton for the future?
2) straight platoon in LF with Murton/Floyd?
3) Let the Floyd play regularly as the starter if hes outproducing Murton?

There's no doubt in my mind I'm taking #3, but judging by some of the comments, I'm not so sure everyone shares that point of view.

floyd is rebuilding with a team that has a chance to compete.

he gets a nice base pay and incentives that could get him a fair season's pay for a guy with huge starter-quality concerns.

if the cubs dont have him starting come sept+ next year i doubt he'd wanna stay anyway.

whole thing seems like a calculated risk with everyone covering their asses the best they know how.

only thing i dont understand is why floyd didnt want to sign with or attract more attention from the DH-league.

You stay with Murton no matter what Cliff Floyd does. He will be with the team at the most 1 to 2 years and then your back to square one trying figure out LF.

Why waste 1 to 2 years playing a broken down Cliff Floyd who will leave your organization with more question marks than answers when he finally moves on.

Sadly Floyd's contract is set up as starter status, which isn't good news for Murton. I guess we will see what happens as the season progresses. But you don't pay 3 million for a guy to be your 4th OFer and your DH only in inter-league games. He is going to start a whole lot of games. And that sucks big time.

there are way too many comments (aside from the drop-off in the number of comments in general) regarding the damn site and its glitches (personally i have only had a problem logging on just once, and right after the move at that).
but if all the damned banter over the glitches leads to improving the site in general (and in turn increasing the commentary) then i suppose it cant be helped.
does kind of suck though.

I think if Floyd is 2001/2005 Floyd he needs to start and Murton "platoons." Can Murton play any right field to help solve Jones' inability to hit lefties?

I wonder if Murton has ever thought about using Jones' bat to match his red, red hair?

I will also say i am a little scared to watch Murton and Soriano play the outfield together. I feel like their inability to judge fly balls and get good jumps could be an issue.

regarding floyd/murton, hopefully they'll both be playing well, in which case they should stick with the plan and platoon as is fitting depending on matchup with deference to murton in most cases for the reasons stated by Mike C .

however if its floyd who is clearly hitting better regardless of the matchups then hey, play the hot bat.

i lean toward murton because he's a cub with some promise, and floyd was a damned met as of late, and no telling how long he'll be here or even healthy, but ultimately whatever is helping the team most is the way lou should go, as if that needs to be stated.

So the Cubs are counting on Lee playing 162 games next year?

Lee will not play 162 games...isn't Ward going to back him up at 1st?? I thought I remember him being listed as a LF but has some experience at first as well

Jacos...what do you mean?

I think it is fairly safe to assume that Lee would play 162 games, as he always has outside of his fluke injury last year.

But even if he doesn't, Floyd and Ward both could play 1B, as could DeRosa.

ward's lee's main backup.

floyd may...alarmingly...see time in RF (not like he'll play 20-30 games or anything) and its probally gonna take ab's away from murton vs. "tough righties"...definately in the DH mix and is pretty much gonna be one of the main pinch hitting attractions.

Here is the number of games that Lee played each year since 2000:

2000 - 158
2001 - 158
2002 - 162
2003 - 155
2004 - 161
2005 - 158
2006 - 50

It is not like Lee is injury prone - he was run into and had his wrist broken. There is no reason not to expect Lee to play more than 150 games this year.

since 1999 Ward has played 520 games...about 230 of those at 1st base. He should be fine as a back up for the 2 games D Lee might need to rest

MikeC — January 24, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

You stay with Murton no matter what Cliff Floyd does.
-----------------------------------

I just don't agree with that at all, unless we somehow turn into a 2006-type team again due to injuries, etc.

If we've got a shot to win now, I say go with the hot hand. Worry about 2009's LF situation then, not now.

I'm sure this will be a moot point given Floyd's injury history, but if he is healthy and playing similar to how he did in '01 and '05, in my opinion, you can't keep him off the field for the good of the future.

Sorry I forgot about Ward, I was just trying to think who would play first.

I'll go back to sleep.

It's nice to have a proven veteran with post-seaon experience as an occasional left-handed hitting option in LF to give Matt Murton a day off against the league's tougher RHPs (like Oswalt, Carpenter, Smoltz, Schmidt, et al). But if he's on the team to do anything more than that (and his contract's incentives and vesting option would seem to indicate that possibilty), well,...

Cliff Floyd vs LHP 2006: 179/274/357
Jacque Jones vs LHP 2006: 234/261/416

Cliff Floyd vs LHP 2004-06: 218/285/379
Jacque Jones vs LHP 2004-06: 226/280/370

Cliff Floyd vs RHP 2004-06: 277/369/498
Jacque Jones vs RHP 2004-06: 275/339/487

So Jones and Floyd are basically the same player offensively and neither can throw worth shit, except Floyd is three years older and has a gimpy leg.

Look, I really do like the idea of having Cliff Floyd in the middle of the lineup between Lee and Ramirez on days when a Chris Carpenter or a Roy Oswalt is pitching, but why the high-end incentives and smokin' vesting options if he's on the team just to get a spot-start in LF once or maybe twice a week?

And I am not confident that Cliff Floyd can be a potent and/or quality "bat-off-the-bench," either. Over the last three years, Floyd is 0-12 with no walks and seven Ks as a PH. Sure, it's a small sample size, but it also happens to be exactly what he has done as a PH when given the opportunity. Absolutely nothing. Zero.

Some guys (like Daryle Ward, Gabe Gross, Wes Helms, and Mark Sweeney) can hit "cold" off the bench, and some guys just can't. Sometimes it's hard for a player who has spent his entire career as an every day player to function well playing intermittently and getting PH ABs against the league's best LOOGYs, top set-up guys, and closers. Pinch-hitting is a knack, and Cliff Floyd's history as a PH gives no indication he has that knack. He certainly is no Daryle Ward (who was in fact THE best LHPH in MLB last year), that's for sure. 

I THINK the plan is for Floyd to get a little more than the occasional start versus righties and as I suggested, more like 50/50 with Murton athough I imagine it may favor Murton even more as Floyd would spell Lee or Jones on some days. I would guess the incentives are that if he can hit like it's 2005, it would be pretty damn stupid to keep him out of the lineup and he'd have EARNED his playing time and thus the extra money.

As long as his playing time isn't awarded because he's got seniority, I don't give a damn.

I think Lou will be starting Floyd and his bum leg on days that Marquis is pitching. This will allow Floyd to rest that leg in the outfield as he watches all of the long balls fly over his head.

Is it true that the national league is going to let Jones and Floyd play "pitchers hand" because they feel so bad that the cubs outfielders (except for soriano's 22 assists in '06) can not get the ball to home plate.

As you can tell, I am not real excited with the way our outfield is shaping up defensively!

I would guess the incentives are that if he can hit like it’s 2005, it would be pretty damn stupid to keep him out of the lineup and he’d have EARNED his playing time and thus the extra money.

As long as his playing time isn’t awarded because he’s got seniority, I don’t give a damn.
--------------------------------

Thats exactly how I view it.

i don't think we should be worried about the cash he is going to get...let's not forget what the market paid Sarge Jr. and Pierre this year!!!!!

at least most of his cash is based on incentives

I think it is fairly safe to assume that Lee would play 162 games, as he always has outside of his fluke injury last year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
True, I don't worry about his injury, a little worried about a full rehab, wrist injuries tend to linger (Nomar) and where his head will be in regard to his daughter's health problems. D.Lee started 2006 off strong with average but didn't show the power of 2005 although it's a small sample size and he's also a notorius slow starter. I don't look for Lee to have a 2005 type season but I would expect him to put up 80-85% of what he did in 2005.

This is a fucking terrible signing.

Why do you say that Horatio?

Because Cliff Floyd is just the kind of always-hurt, declining-skills, slacker who is only too glad to come to Chicago and collect a paycheck for mailing it in every day in a zero pressure environment. He'll be an even bigger bust than Mark "I make 4 million to give you what Eric Patterson could give you for 375,000" DeRosa.

Also, Cliff Floyd is a terrible hitter and a terrible fielder. In short, he is a terrible baseball player who will somehow start 125 games. Why? Because this is the Cubs and we are a terrible team.

"I would guess the incentives are that if he can hit like it’s 2005, it would be pretty damn stupid to keep him out of the lineup and he’d have EARNED his playing time and thus the extra money.

As long as his playing time isn’t awarded because he’s got seniority, I don’t give a damn."

But, since none of these things will happen, what's the point of wondering?

It's be a terrible signing if they signed Floyd to be their closer or catcher or signed him for five years. As it is they got Cliff Floyd, a guy who, if healthy, could add power and OBP against right handers. If he's not healthy, the Cubs don't owe him much more than the base $3 million. It seems like something less than terrible to me.

Horatio,

You might want to ask Hawkins and Jones about the zero pressure environment that is Wrigley Field.

because baseball isnt a static environment void of humanity.

i dont know why floyd getting a 3m deal with incentives that take him into 7.5m territory means matt murton is now 300ab trash.

if floyd plays really good...well...he's gonna decline the option.

there's no incentive to play floyd out and not develop murton in any way but 250-300ab bench fodder.

murton's gonna lose some ab's, but i doubt its gonna be drastic stuff or floyd is suddenly running the show in the clubhouse.

Ironic that the picture of Floyd starting this thread shows him in significant pain presumable after being hit by a pitch and clutching his forearm...

I say we forfeit on April 21st. Or at least we don't play anyone who we can't afford to lose to injury.

Horatio — January 24, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

Why? Because this is the Cubs and we are a terrible team.
-------------------------------------

Hell of an attitude there.

If you can't at least have one ounce of optimism after this offseason, when can ya?

Nice photo... lol. Anyways, I'm happy about Floyd, he'll add lots of pop off the bench.

Horatio is cut from the Gay-us mold.

The neg-man. At least there is a blog for him to feel comfortable negativity.

Oh yeah. Chicago is a "zero-pressure" City. Do you have a clue?

Do you live here? Been following the Rex Grossman saga? And the crap he endured in this "zero pressure" town was directed towards a WINNER!

Cub's '06-'07 offseason = Toronto's '05-'06 offseason?

Horatio:

This is a fucking terrible signing.

Yeah, I mean he only hit .244 last year.

:)

/sarcasm

I had to scroll up and look at them again, but aren't both those pictures from his time with the Mets? At first glance I assumed the first one was when he was with the Expos. I guess there are a lot of pictures of him in great agony.

To answer all the 'if we're going to win in 2007, and he is outhitting Murton, why not play him' posts. Because maybe benching the .260 hitting Murton for the .275 hitting Floyd in May gives us a .280 hiiting Murton instead of a .325 hitting Murton in September. Murton isn't Vlad Guerrero, he needs to get experience to become better. Not to mention Murton out hit Floyd against righties last year.

I don't hate the signing, but I am afraid the incentives will encourage Piniella to dustyfy Murton. If Murton or Lee goes down, he's certainly a better replacement than Ward (though maybe not better than Pie).

OK..........as usual, I am missing all the over-analyzing of Murton vs. Floyd, his role, etc. Doesn't a GM owe his manager the best players he can find and/or afford? Isn't this Cubs team now stronger with Floyd on the roster than having McGehee, T. Perez, or even Pagan as the 13th position player? Let the manager evaluate Murton, Floyd, et al this spring and through the first 25-30 games of the season. I'm going to guess that Lou will end up playing whoever hits AND fields the best more starts than any other player in LF/RF and any other position on the team. You never know who's going to get hurt (haven't we seen enough of that with this team over the last 3-4 year). I really hope Murton, Theriot, Pie, E. Patterson, Marshall, etc. can contribute to the team this year or someday, but 2006 showed what can happen when you HAVE to count on that. Kudos to Jimbo for getting Lilly, Marquis, Cotts, Ward, Floyd, and DeRosa so this team has a lot more depth for once and doesn't have to depend on Wood, Prior, Cedeno, and kids to shoulder the load.

CUBS.com, if you follow the links there, will allow you to hear the entire Floyd press conference.

It is interesting listening including Q&A w/De Luca, Levine, Muskrat, Ofman, etc.

George,

I hate to get all 'crunch' on you, but a player is not a static stat line. The manager's decisions have a great impact on how a player develops, and consequently the future success of the team. Some managers have to be fired, because they don't grasp that concept. Let's hope our new one doesn't have that problem.

I think maybe what was meant by "zero pressure" is that if Floyd is gonna be mostly a bench player there won't be a ton of pressure on him. It is not as though he is J. Jones, a guy who will be out there everyday. Also, as others have said, when Jones was brought in, there was a lot of pressure on him because many fans were expecting or wanting a higher profile name with higher profile numbers in the outfield. Some of those fans wanted Jones to be that guy and he just is not. On the other hand, again, Floyd is not coming in as a regular starter, and is being brought in for less money than Jones, at least without the incentives, and so, yeah, it does seem as though there will be a lot less pressure on Floyd, though probably not literally "zero pressure."

Chicago focuses a lot of media attention on its teams, of course. But the fact is that for the past couple decades the Cubs are where you can go if you're a broken down veteran interested in lollygagging around and cashing a paycheck. Sure, after the game you might have 10 microphones around you as opposed to 2, but no one can tell me that there is pressure to win as a Cub. There is simply no expectation of success. Maybe that will change on day. I hope it will. But it hasn't yet, and any suggestion to the contrary is just wishful thinking.

Not that I think pressure or expectations are good things, necessarily. Just that I hate it when Hendry signs guys who seem a bit too overjoyed that they will be able to cash checks from a team whose fan base has long been conditioned to accept losing.

Like all of us here, I am a huge Cub fan. The Cubs winning or losing visibly affects my mood for that day, as I'm sure it does most of you guys as well. Every year, I am hopeful that they might actually put it together for this season. But optimistic? You've got to be kidding me.

Since when did Matt Murton become Grady Sizemore? Look, I like Murton. But fact is he is a solidly non-spectacular ballplayer. He's restricted to one position on the field (left), is marginal defender, and doesn't fit the profile of a significant run producer. What he is is slightly nicer right handed version of Todd Hollandsworth during his prime. Do I want to see Murton play? Do I want to see Murton succeed? Sure I do. But for crying out loud, more than anything I want to win ballgames. And the addition of Cliff Floyd should help achieve that objective. Floyd is a proven run producer and a vitally needed left-handed bat. If his presence means Murton's playing time is reduced, then so be it. Because the Cubs will be a better ballclub as a result.

Silent Towel:
So after 1 full season at age 24 we know that Murton is just a slightly better Hollandsworthless?
A season in which, after struggling to adjust to the pitchers' adjustments, he came on in the second half (64 games) to put up .319/.390/.522?

Wow...Murton better come in and hit .420 then if he wants to play.
Floyd would have been a great pick-up 5 years ago.
He had a great year in 2005, but was injury plagued and moderately effective in 2002-2004, and is average, at best in the field.
He'll be a great 4th OF, 1B guy, palying LF against the toughest RHPs.

Cub fans are guilty of overrating the value and potential of Matt Murton. It's a classic trap that I have witnessed happen time and time again over 30 years of following this club. Beyond an apparent ability to get on base, Murton doesn't have wondrous run production potential (in my opinion). And his defense is marginal in left field. Don't get me wrong. I like Murton and want him to succeed and like what he brings to the table. But if there is the chance to upgrade, then you upgrade. Cliff Floyd is an excellent addition to the Cub outfield mix. Hopefully he is in line to grab at least 350 at bats. The combo of Murton, Floyd and Jones in left and right has the overall potential to be very productive. And that's a good.

Horatio — January 25, 2007 @ 9:00 am

But optimistic? You’ve got to be kidding me.
----------------------------------

If you have zero optimism heading into this year, as seems to be the case, what team in the NL Central, as their fan, would you be optimistic about?

And then please explain why there is absolutely no reason to have any sort of hope at all for the Cubs finishing with a better record than that team.

I'm not saying we are a lock to win a damn thing, but again, if you can't have some sort of optimism after this offseason, I don't know when you can. We have improved and the rest of the Central has either gotten worse or stayed roughly the same. It seems like we should be competitive within our division at the very least.

Floyd could be a welcome addition..true.
In a limited role, he could be great.

However,Towel, you cannot live in the past.
If you continue to compare every prospect to past failures, then by all means, bring on the Karl Pagel and Scot Thompson comparisons.
Murton has hit for average, and reached base consistently at every level. He started off strong, but struggled last year after pitchers adjusted to him. He came back in the second half, and put up really good numbers. Not over a week, or 2 weeks, but for 64 games.
His defense must improve, but Floyd is no gold glover out there either.

"But the fact is that for the past couple decades the Cubs are where you can go if you’re a broken down veteran interested in lollygagging around and cashing a paycheck.

Where is the basis for you "facts"?

You know this for sure?

Read it anywhere?

Get us links?

You are full of it.

This is not true and it certanly was no one's fault that their better players were injured the last couple years. The lack of preparedness by the GM certainly was inexcusable but the "lollygagging" and "last place to cash a paycheck" especially 2003-2007 is bullshit.

Re: Murton, what is this fetish towards versatility in the outfield? Who cares? Why is being a left fielder so terrible? Matt Murton is 25 years old. 25. He is only just embarking on his most productive years as a player. In other words, we don't know what kind of player he'll be. And if any smarty-pants tries to act all "in-the-know" and tell you that Murton will never amount to anything - be assured that is no more than a guess.

No, Silent Towel, the classic Cubs trap is not to put "too much faith" in a guy like Murton, who is a promising young player. The classic Cub trap is the fact that the team has no earthly idea which baseball skills actually translate into wins and, thusly, continue to pursue players that do not exhibit these skills in the slightest. Signing Cliff Floyd is, in fact, a "classic" Cub trap seeing as he is a terrible fielder, a vastly overrated hitter, and is a constant threat for injury. The Cubs seem to be eternally in fear of starting a season with a rookie player who they think just might go 0 for 550 with 350 Ks. So instead of going 65-97 with a lineup of league-minimum rookies, they go 65-97 with a team filled with $3 million guys who can be reasonably expected to hit .255. Such is Cliff Floyd. He is an insurance policy against the insane and irrational fear the Cubs have of being stuck with someone who will say to them midseason, "hold on here, you wanted me to PLAY IN THE GAMES? I thought you wanted me to do the team's laundry."

Nate - we may be talking semantics here. Every spring, I hope that this is the year that the Cubs win 100 games and win the WS. But am I expecting it (which is what, to me, optimism implies)? Hell no.

E-man:

Fred McGriff
John Mabry
Jeromy Burnitz
Lenny Harris(!!!)

Horatio — January 25, 2007 @ 10:33 am

Nate - we may be talking semantics here. Every spring, I hope that this is the year that the Cubs win 100 games and win the WS. But am I expecting it (which is what, to me, optimism implies)? Hell no.
---------------------------------------

Fair enough... i have no intention of getting into any sort of discussion involving the the definition of optimism, and I'm sure you don't either.

I am looking forward to this season though, and given our competition within the division, am expecting us to make a fairly strong run at the Central.

Call me overly-optimistic if you want, but I'll be pretty damn disappointed if that is not the case in September.

For all those who think Matt Murton is a liability in the field, he totalled 8 FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average) for 2006. Not great, but respectable enough.

In contrast, the "magic" glovework of "magic magician" and otherwise worthless sack of shit Cesar Izturis totalled -1. And yes those totals are weighted by position so no being a SS is not why his number is such shit.

In today's Daily Herald, Bruce Miles says he expects the Cubs will release Glendon Rusch to make room on the 40-man roster for Cliff Floyd.

If the Cubs do in fact release Rusch, they would be on the hook for Rusch's 2007 salary ($3.25M), although if another MLB club were to sign Rusch (albeit not too likely to happen), the salary that club pays Rusch (at least the MLB minimum of $380K) would be subtracted from what the Cubs would owe.

Personally, I would expect Rusch to sit-out the 2007 season and take his medication and try to get well, and maybe he will try and mount a comeback with somebody in 2008.  

Miles does not offer the name of the player who has been dropped to make room on the 40-man roster for Jeff Samardzija, but as I wrote in a previous thread, I would expect that player to be Buck Coats.

Someone (again, probably Coats) has probably already been Designated for Assignment (DFA) to make room for Samardzija on the 40 (so that the Cubs would have up to ten days to decide whether to trade, release, or send the player outright to the minors). However, the official announcement might not be made until the ten days have expired, which--depending on when Samardzija was officially added to the 40-- should be sometime next week. 

Murton in 2006:
WARP3 = 5.2

Floyd in 2006:
WARP3 = 2.1
(average WARP3 over last seven seasons = 3.6)

Yes, it's such a good thing that we are paying Floyd 10 times Murtons salary to take plate appearances away from Murton and be 8 years older than Murton and generally suck a whole lot worse than Murton.

HORATIO:

DLEE
ARAMIREZ
JJONES
ASORIANO

LEt me also remind you, although you probably aren't old enough, but Cub nation was BEGGING for McFail to sign McGriff at the deadline his first year here as the team was in a playoff hunt.

They did it and gave him an extra year.

This is the true "fact", unlike your suppositions.

Point taken Horatio....the place where verterans come to die...lol!!

McGriff was a stiff, but hardly on the levels of Harris, Mabry, etc....How about Todd Hundley, Dellino Deshields and Troy O'Leary?

Whatever Horatio. If you want to fixate on Cliff Floyd circa 2006 versus Cliff Floyd the player over the past decade, then fine. Can't help you much there. Nobody has said that Floyd is the second coming of David Ortiz. But if you look at his career you shall see a productive, run producing hitter. In 2005 he hit 35 HRs and drove in 98. Not bad playing half his games in hitter friendly Shea Stadium.

My primacy is on the Cubs winning a World Series. Apparently your primacy is on seeing non-spectacular talent with young chronological age be given the keys to the city.

Poor Horatio. Half a boy.

Don't forget Tom Goodwin and Michael Tucker!

Jeff Blauser

Rediculous - We now have 5 left fielders - no true center fielders - and no right fielders.

our pitching staff is not happy right now. from what i can tell, our best defensive outfield may be:

murton in left, theriot in center, and soriano in rt.

Trading Jacque and playing Floyd and Ward on occasion.

How quickly we forget.

I can dig up as many or more duds and have seen plenty in my 40+ years of being a Cub fan.

Hendry has his "Stiffs List" that I have posted on numerous occasions.

However, since 2003, I feel more than any time other than the Dallas Green era, the team has at least tried to field winning teams under Hendry.

Jim Hendry has made some terrible moves, and ridiculous mistakes that he has admitted to. In 2003 everything worked out (except for Alex Gonzalez NLCS and Dusty's ineptitude). He also got rid of Todd Hundley for two players that got the team into the post-season.

The vets that were brought in to "die", were not supposed to be playing full time. Unfortunately for us, they had to.

ST-Cool...can we go back to 2005 and have that Cliff Floyd playing for the Cubs in 2007?
That would be great!!! I'd also like Clemens of 1997, and Alex Rodriguez of 2001.
Can we get those guys too?
Otherwise, let's look at reality for a moment.
Floyd is 34, coming off an Achilles injury, and has has 1 good season in his last 4.

He'll be a great addition to the bench, to back up Lee at 1B, and play OF occasionally.

Floyd is 34, coming off an Achilles injury, and has has 1 good season in his last 4.

Yeah, he's been injured a lot but here are his OPS+ numbers since 2001:

150
143
132
110
125
91

Declining? Yes, Injured? A lot. But I'd hardly say he's been bad(except last year).

The E-Man — January 25, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

Hendry has his “Stiffs List” that I have posted on numerous occasions.

However, since 2003, I feel more than any time other than the Dallas Green era, the team has at least tried to field winning teams under Hendry.
----------------------------------------------------
I never liked Blauser... just had to throw his name out there.

But overall, I agree with ya E-man. Absent last season, the talent on our teams under Hendry have been pretty good since 2003. Unfortunately, we have always had more than our fair share of injuries, and Hendry didn't bother to ensure the bench was strong enough to deal with them.

He has admitted he messed up there and has seemed intent to bolster the bench this offseason in case something similar happens.

Hopefully Murton can pull his weight and we won't have to deal with any long-term injuries... then these on-the-decline veterans can stay in their proper roles.

If kept in their proper roles, they are all pretty good signings and I would guess many teams would like to have our bench.

I'm not saying Floyd is bad, I'm just saying that is is getting up in age, is not a great fielder, and is coming off a major injury.
I don't care if his OPS+ is 180 next year. If he can only suit up for 60-80 games, then is he worth $3 million?
I think he'll be a great back up 1B, and will occasionally spell Murton. Maybe 200-300 AB's, but I don't want him as a starter.

Jeff Blauser WAS HORRIBLE. What a THEIF!! So good with the Braves. And so absolutely PUTRID with the Cubs. I just threw up in my mouth over him...

I just hope Cliffy only becomes a spot starter against an occaisional tough pitcher that he has a good history against.

Or - to fill in for an injury situation.

AZ PHIL has pointed out already he's not a good PH. But, IF USED PROPERLY, I would think this would be a nice addition. Agreed?

C'mon Lou!

Silent,

Putting aside your ridiculous redundancy "chronological age" (as opposed to the other kind of age?) the simple fact is that Murton's WARP3 in 2006 (his 24 yo season) was over a win and a half better than Floyd's average over the past SEVEN seasons. Does this alone mean that Murton will have another solid season? No it does not. What it does mean, however, is that one can predict with a high degree of confidence that Floyd's 2007 will look much like the last SEVEN years of his career. And it is far less likely (though not impossible) that Murton will so drastically underperform as to be less productive than this average of Floyd's. So what the Cubs have basically done is bet a lot of money on a long shot - that Floyd will outperform Murton.

My "primacy" (whatever on earth that's supposed to mean) for the Cubs to be a good team that consistently wins or contends for championships. I want the Cubs to change their philosophy and give a chance to league-min. rookies who can be reasonably trusted to perform. Then take all the money left over and get the best players on the FA market. You seem to think following the same tired approach of paying replacement-level scrubs $4 million per year and signing overrated veterans will suddenly work in 2007 after 60 years of not-working.

"But, IF USED PROPERLY, I would think this would be a nice addition."

Yes, I do think Yosh could use his help folding uniforms.

Horatio,

You seem to have a problem actually looking at the stats that your trying to pass off. You took Floyd's last 7 ENTRIES on his BP page

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/floydcl0...

added them up and divided by 7. Unfortunately that includes 3 entries for 2002 for the 3 teams he played for, so you weighted his 84 games with Florida. 15 with Montreal and 47 with Boston as one full season each. You basically did the same thing with Izturis a few weeks back....

Anyway if you just add up his 3 WARP3 scores from that year, you get a 7.6 that season.

His actual WARP3 average for the last 7 seasons is 5.67, Murton is 5.2. For the last 3 seasons, it's 4.5 for Floyd.

But please, if you want to be heard, actually bother to read the page and do the math correctly.

that's Murton's WARP3 score from last year by the way if it wasn't clear.

Oh, sorry. I kinda fire off these comments while at work so if I'm way off, just let me know. I guess the signing isn't so bad as it first seemed.

You can see why I would've been a bit concerned if those had been yearly totals.

It isn't that geat of a deal.
I'll take Murton, who is 25 and improving, over Floyd, who is 34 and declining.

It's a wash defensively, and I'm a little leery of picking up injury prone guys.....

"I kinda fire off these comments while at work so if I’m way off

That's what we've been trying to tell you.

You are WAY OFF. You try to pass your stuff off as FACT, when it ain't.

"Beyond an apparent ability to get on base, Murton doesn’t have wondrous run production potential (in my opinion)."

Silent Towel, do you work in the Cubs front office? Getting on base is the single most important skill a ballplayer can have. Why do the Cubs and so many of their fans not understand this?

Murton's numbers, aside from his healthy .365 OBP, were not outstanding last year. But given his very strong second half (especially in the context of being jerked around by Dusty) a smart organization would pencil him in as the left fielder for next season.

The Cubs, however, are not a smart organization.

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