I interrupt my convention recap to bring you the latest in Cubs news. In a story that’s been dragging out forever, the Cubs finally have agreed to a contract with Cliff Floyd. Hendry has been attempting to sign Floyd since his contract with New York expired. After all, it was Hendry who scouted and signed Floyd to play at Creighton College when he coached there and Floyd was playing at Thornwood High School in South Holland, Ill. The deal is a one year three million dollar deal that is incentive loaded. Floyd can make an additional $4.5 million this year in bonuses based on plate appearances and time on the active 25-man roster. The deal includes a mutual option for 2008 that could become guaranteed if he has 100 games started or 425 plate appearances this year. He could earn $17.5 million over two years if he has 550 plate appearances each season and $15.5 million if he has 500 each season. Floyd was limited in his plate appearences last year by a bad Achilles. Language in the contract protects the Cubs if an Achilles’ tendon injury jeopardizes Floyd’s ability to be on the 2008 opening-day roster.
After all the smart moves Hendry made this offseason, he had to pull a boneheaded move like this one. Floyd, a left-handed batter, could platoon with right-handed Matt Murton in left field or left-handed Jacque Jones in right field. After all the talk at the Cubs Convention this weekend about how great Murton is, I don’t understand this at all. Also contrary to what was said at the Convention, it is being reported that the Cubs reportedly are shopping Jones in the trade market. According to Lou and Hendry, everything was hunkey dorey with Jones. I know Jones wasn’t the most popular player, but I thought he got a bad rap from the fans, but I think he is easily better than the injury prone Floyd. Floyd also has a lot of money riding on how many at bats and games he starts. How long will it take before he starts complaining about playing time? Will he be the type of clubhouse cancer that the team has been trying to avoid? I doubt that Floyd will get that many at bats for the incentives to kick in, since he has only had 500 at bats twice in the last ten years, buy an extra 15 million might make you try to get some more AB’s.
When Floyd was asked about platooning, he said
"I think everybody likes to play. I think the main thing is doing what the team needs me to do. I mean that sincerely. If you want to win, you do what the team needs you to do to win. If you talk about platooning and all this stuff, I don’t think it becomes an issue. If I go out and play like I know I can play, you won’t hear that word [platoon] the rest of the season."
What are the odds that he start complaining before the All Star Break?
Who’s Going to Pay the Bills?
With the Tribune Companies stock plunging, many people are wondering what is going to happen to the Cubs. Ruport Murdoch’s News Corp was the recent bidder over the Tribune’s properties, which include the Cubs. Other bids have come from Southern California billionaires Eli Broad and Ronald Burkle, and the Chandler Family. The funny thing is that all three groups bidding do not want to own the Cubs. They are interested in the Tribune’s publications and would probably sell the Cubs immediately. The question remains, who will buy the Cubs?
Dusty on ESPN
Dusty Baker confirmed that he has signed a two year deal with ESPN to be a basseball analyst. Why anyone wants to hear the nonsense that pours out of this guys mouth is beyond me. I watched some of his "analysis" during the playoffs and it was horrible. There is an "opt out" clause in his contract that allows interested teams to contact him for managerial positions. Of course, no team in the off sesason wanted him, including San Diego, a job that Dusty wanted. When asked about the Cubs spending spree he said;
"They made a lot of moves. It makes you wonder, but you get over it. I like Lou. There are a lot of guys I’m pulling for over there."
Pull yourself Dusty.