Dave van Dyck's story on the Cliff Floyd signing in today's Tribune contains this troubling paragraph:
The best guess is Floyd will be the regular left fielder and bat fifth. That's assuming off-season surgery to remove a bone spur rubbing against his left Achilles' tendon is healed. And that his 34-year-old body can take the rigors of playing daily, something he has done only once in the last seven years.
This is diametrically opposed to what we all heard over the weekend -- that is, that Matt Murton would be the Cubs' left fielder and that Floyd would be the fourth outfielder, main pinch hitter and perhaps back up Derrek Lee at 1B as well.
And, the two assumptions in the above paragraph are by no means assured. We all know what Achilles problems can do to a player.
Bruce Miles notes that the deal has quite a few incentives:
Floyd can make an additional $4.5 million this season based on plate appearances and time on the active 25-man roster. 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.
To make room on the 40-man roster, look for the Cubs to release veteran left-handed pitcher Glendon Rusch, whose 2006 season was cut short by a blood clot.
The Cubs will still owe Rusch $3 million for this year, which will likely be covered by insurance.
One other note today -- Dusty Baker has officially signed with ESPN to be a studio analyst and also to work on 10 regular season games and in the postseason. It's a two-year deal. But get this:
Baker, 57, has a clause in his contract that allows interested teams to contact him as a managerial candidate.
I'm thinking that clause is never going to have to be exercised.