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:
After what only seems likes months or perhaps years, the Chicago Tribune and numerous other Chicago media are reporting that the Cubs have (finally, at long last) signed FA OF Cliff Floyd. Terms are being reported as $3M for 2007 plus some type of mutual option for 2008. Although Floyd was rated an MLB Type "A" free-agent, the Cubs will not lose a pick in next June's Rule 4 Draft because the Mets declined to offer arbitration to Floyd.
In addition to signing Jeff Samardzija to a major league contract last week and INF Tomas Perez to a minor league contract (with an NRI to ST) the week before, and while waiting for Cliff Floyd to decide what he wants to do, the Cubs have signed several additional FAs to minor league contracts recently:
I received a 2007 Cubs desk calendar that every once in awhile comes up with a good trivia question. If there's one that stumps me that I need to go search for the answer on google(well actually I just have to look at the bottom of the calendar), I may post them on the slow days. So try and answer without a web search:
"Who was the first member of the Cubs to hit an All-Star Game home run?"
If you're the first to answer correctly, you'll win eternal fame and glory without having to give up your soul.
The AP is even picking up on the story now and says that Cliff Floyd deal is going to happen any time now. It looks to be a one year deal with the possibility of some type of player option for 2008.
Reader MannyTrillo was kind enough to give us his take on the happenings at Cubs Convention. 

Friday- Opening Ceremonies:

-          Hendry said “I am going to promise two things.  We will be good and we will stay good.”

-          Kerry Wood looked great. Definitely lost some weight.

-          The video highlight from the previous year was pretty weak, but not surprising coming off a 96-loss season.

-          Loudest cheer was for Barrett’s punch to AJ.

-          Biggest boos were for George Bush, Larry Rothschild and Dusty Baker.

-          Video was mostly about offseason stuff and quotes about offseason or next year.

 

Bear down, Chicago Bears, make every play clear the way to victory; Bear down, Chicago Bears, put up a fight with a might so fearlessly. We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation with your T-formation. Bear down, Chicago Bears, and let them know why you're wearing the crown. You're the pride and joy of Illinois, Chicago Bears, bear down.
There was a good crowd at Chad's Bears Chat site last week, so might as well stick with it if you wish to discuss the game. - In baseball news, the Sun-Times is saying that Cliff Floyd should be a Cub on a one year deal now that Alfonso Soriano seems willing to play center field and the team won't need to waste a roster spot on a veteran stop gap until Felix Pie is ready. Why this is any different than if Jacque Jones was willing to play center field is beyond me though. - Apparently after a bit of booing of Larry Rothschild at the morning Q&A, both Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella were quick to defend Rotschild including this little bit from Piniella about injuries:
"You can't blame a pitching coach for that," he said. "You can't blame a strength coach for that. You can blame a manager if he allows a guy to go out there and throw 100, 145 pitches consistently, and all of a sudden he breaks down, and that won't happen.
Is that a manager taking responsibility for his team? I didn't know that was possible.
Get a bunch of Cubs together in a hotel and you get some actual Cubs stories. - Lou Piniella is warming up to the Soriano in centerfield talk .
"If Soriano can do it, that would take care of a lot."
Welcome to the party, Lou. - Then of course, Piniella says Ryan Theriot will get a shot as well at centerfield. Theriot is up to the challenge:
''So I ordered me an outfield glove and started messing around and getting after it,'' Theriot said. ''The single-mindedness of guys putting themselves before the team has hurt us in the past. If every player can do that, say, 'You know what, if you got to move, you got to move."
- The same article says that Piniella talked to Jacque Jones for about 20 minutes and let him know that there's room for him on the team and that he Piniella did not get any sense from Jones that he wanted out. - Carlos Zambrano says the deadline for an extension is Opening Day, otherwise he plans to test the free agent waters. Let's not play chicken on this one Jim. - In "This Moments in False Hope" with Mark Prior, he says he's ready to go for Spring Training and that he's already had five to six bullpen sessions and feels good.
- A final thanks to "Dying Cub Fan" for his advocacy pieces on Ron Santo's Hall of Fame candidacy. If you do have a moment, at the very least, please go visit santoforhall.com and sign their online petition which will be forwarded to the Veterans Committee.
Some of you might remember back to last June, when the Cubs selected Notre Dame RHP (and WR) Jeff Samardzija in the 5th Round of the Rule 4 Draft (June Draft). The Cubs subsequently gave Samardzija what was reported at the time as a record-setting multi-million dollar bonus that the Cubs hoped would ultimately dissuade Samardzija from pursuing a career in the NFL. Not so, apparently
Jim Hendry will be making some sort of announcement at 1:30 CST time today at the Cubs Convention. There's some radio reports from the Score that it will be to announce an extension for Carlos Zambrano in the $16 mil range, years unknown. It's still firmly planted in the rumor stage though. UPDATE: Told you it was a rumor, a mean, vicious rumor at that. It seems the press conference will be about 5th round pick Jeff Samardzija choosing the majesty of baseball over the brutality of football. You can read AZ Phil's post on recent developments in his contract as well. UPDATE #2: We've got all kinds of stories on this now and it appears to be a five year deal for $8 million in guaranteed money. A few reports seem to indicate it could be as high as $9 million and a number of incentives are sure to be included. UPDATE #3: The same ESPN link from above has been modified and says there's likely to be signing bonus that will push the deal in the $10 million range and the Cubs hold options for 2012 and 2013. FINAL UPDATE: Sullivan at the Trib says the bonus is for $2.5 million and he'll get $7.5 million over the next five years. The two club options in 2012 and 2013 could make the final deal worth up to 7 years and $16.5 million. THE FINAL, FINAL UPDATE: Oh yeah, there's a no-trade clause as well. Dumb. Samardzija offered to return the bonus money if he goes back to football. Yeah right!
"Dying Cub Fan" finishes his look at the career of Ron Santo and what has kept him out of the Hall of Fame to this date. ------------ Why has Santo been overlooked? Santo did not do well in BBWAA voting when he was eligible for consideration by the writers. He was considered by the BBWAA 15 times, and his best showing came in 1998 (his last year on the writers' ballot), when he received 204 votes (43.13%, well short of the 75% needed for election).14 He was removed from the ballot after the 1980 election (the first time he was eligible for BBWAA consideration) for failing to receive the required 5% vote; he was reinstated to the ballot in 1985. Under the selection process of the reconstituted Veteran's Committee (which has elected no one since being reconstituted in 2001, following the former Veteran's Committee's pick of Bill Mazeroski, and which now considers players every two years), Santo received 56.8% of the vote in 2003 and 65% in 2005, each time short of the 75% vote needed. The former Veteran's Committee did not publish their voting results.
"Dying Cub Fan" continues his look at the candidacy of Ron Santo for Baseball's Hall of Fame in the second part of this three part series. -------------- Brooks Robinson In 1964, third basemen won the MVP award in both the American League and the National League. Brooks Robinson won in the AL, playing for an Oriole team that won 97 games and finished third, and Ken Boyer won in the NL, playing for the Cardinals, who won 93 games and the pennant. The Cubs won 76 games and finished 8th. Santo had a better year than either Robinson or Boyer and finished 8th in MVP balloting. 6
  AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+
Boyer 628 100 185 30 10 24 119 70 85 .295 .365 .489 130
Santo 592 94 185 33 13 30 114 86 96 .312 .398 .564 164
Robinson 612 82 194 35 3 28 118 51 64 .317 .368 .521 145
Santo had more home runs, a higher on-base percentage and a higher slugging percentage than either Robinson or Boyer. Santo won the Gold Glove over Boyer, who had won it the previous five years. Playing for teams that scored significantly more runs and had higher team on-base percentages than the Cubs, both Robinson and Boyer had more RBI than Santo; Robinson led the AL in RBI and Boyer led the NL (Santo finished second).
The Cubs proposed $11.025 million and Carlos Zambrano had $15.5 in mind. This one is going to take some work. Will this be Hendry's first arbitration case? My guess is that Hendry would like to speed up the extension talk and get Z under contract for the next 5-6 years, avoid the arbitration case and make up whatever differences between the two sides over the course of a long-term deal. Mark Prior had the audacity to ask for a raise at $3.875 million. The Cubs have offered $3.4 million. Prior made $3.65 million last season. They might as well just agree to meet in the middle and keep him at the same money he was at last year.
The Cubs have signed Ohman for two years avoiding an arbitration case this year and next. Financial details have yet to be disclosed. I would assume this means he's still in the Cubs plans rather than being trade bait as has been rumored. UPDATE: Ohman will receive $900,000 next year and $1.6 in 2008. Bonuses include $100,000 for appearing in 75 games next season and 70 in 2008. He'll get $200,000 for appearing in 80 games in 2008. And in what has become a Hendry staple, there's bonus money for finishing games that begins at $25,000 each year for finishing 15 games, up to $150,000 for finishing 35 (or more).

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