Friday, December 15, 2006

Cliff Floyd Rumors Just Won't Stop

I have to admit that I’m a little confused by all of the rumors that say Cliff Floyd will soon be a member of the Cubs. I’ve always liked Floyd. I like guys who hustle, get the most out of their talent, and seem like genuinely nice people. It doesn’t hurt that he grew up in the Chicago area either. But I just don’t see where he fits in with the 2007 Cubs.

If Floyd is being added to the Cubs to be a bench player, then I’m okay with signing him. But there are two problems with this possibility. First, despite his injury history, Floyd still has the potential to be a starting outfielder somewhere. Not for the Cubs, but somewhere. Plus, Floyd is a proud guy and I would guess that he still thinks of himself as a starter, not a bench guy.

Second, the rumor is that Floyd is looking for a $6 million a year pay day. That’s a lot of money for a guy destined to ride the pines. Plus, the Cubs just signed Daryle Ward for $1.05 million to be the left-handed bat off the bench. There’s nothing wrong with having another left-handed bat on the bench, but Floyd would be an expensive pinch hitter.

Of course, my fear, and the fear of a lot of Cubs fans, is that Floyd is being brought in to platoon in LF with Matt Murton. If that is the plan, it is a bad one. Murton proved last year that he can hit both right-handed and left-handed pitching. He is young and is bound to improve even more with additional at-bats. It makes no sense to stunt Murton’s growth by platooning him with Floyd.

Hendry has always had a soft spot for Floyd. Hendry recruited Floyd when he (Hendry) was coach at Creighton. Floyd opted for the bright lights and big money of MLB, but he and Hendry remained close. Hendry has shown an interest in Floyd in the past, but the situation was never right. The situation still isn’t right, but Hendry may force the issue anyway.

If Floyd can stay healthy, he’s a very good baseball player and an excellent hitter. Even so, the Cubs don’t have room for him unless he’s willing to be a reserve. Since this is unlikely, the Cubs should just say “no” to Floyd.


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