Floyd's Cubs deal could be worth $17.5M
Cliff Floyd's contract with the Cubs is so flexible and creatively structured, it can turn into anything from a one-year, $3 million deal to a two-year, $17.5 million deal.
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.
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.
Floyd, a Chicago native, could split time in left field with Matt Murton and also give the Cubs a left-handed bat off the bench. Alfonso Soriano is expected to start in center and Jacque Jones in right.
"It gives us a a lot depth. It will enable us to survive if we have an injury by having an extra quality, quality player on the club, which obviously our depth was a problem last year when [Derrek Lee] went down," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said.
Floyd was limited to 332 at-bats last year because of the injured Achilles tendon.
"I look forward to coming home and playing and playing at Wrigley. This is a team that I watched growing up," Floyd said.
The 34-year-old Floyd had surgery on his left foot in October, after hitting .244 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs. The Mets replaced him in left field with Moises Alou, a free agent who agreed to a contract in October.
"I had a bone spur, that was actually affecting the Achilles. It was a bone spur that was actually rubbing on the tendon. The doctors went in and shaved the bone spur down and cleaned the tendon up," Floyd said.
He hopes to be close to completely healthy by the start of spring training next month.
"I'm working every day, Monday through Friday, rehabbing, physical therapists, everything," he said. "Everybody says I'm ahead of schedule. I'm looking forward to being ready for camp, and anything less than that would disappoint me."
An All-Star with the Florida Marlins in 2001, Floyd batted .273 with 34 homers and 98 RBIs for the Mets in 2005. He has a .279 average, 213 home runs and 781 RBIs during a career that began with the Montreal Expos in 1993.
If he has to platoon with Murton to get playing time, that's OK.
"I don't think it becomes an issue. Everybody gets caught up in this is what you want to do," Floyd said. "If you want to win, you do what the team needs you to do to win."
Senior writer Jayson Stark covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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