Uncle Cliffy, Big Jim
Cliff Floyd has signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays; presumably 2008 will be his final year as a player and he most likely will be their full-time DH. Good for Cliffy, I hope he enjoys his ride out into the sunset.
Also, the Cardinals traded centerfielder Jim Edmonds to the Padres for an unknown third base prospect named David Freese. While Freese has a career .300 average in the minors, he’s already 24 years old and hasn’t gotten past high A-ball. If he was any kind of prospect, San Diego likely would not have traded starting second baseman Josh Barfield for unproven Kevin Kouzmanoff a year ago. It didn’t help Freese’s case that he has super stud Chase Headley in front of him at AA. I guess this means that St. Louis decided Edmonds was too old, too fragile, and too expensive to keep around, and that Rick Ankiel is the answer in center field.
For the Padres, it means Mike Cameron almost assuredly will not be re-signed — which makes one wonder, will Cameron land in Atlanta, his home?
By the way, the Padres also signed Shawn Estes and Glendon Rusch to minor league deals; I might have considered Rusch for the Mets’ AAA squad, but I’m not losing sleep over it.
In other news, the Blue Jays signed David Eckstein to a one-year deal and invited Sal Fasano to spring training. I’m glad we have Luis Castillo, but I might not have minded Eck on the cheap one-year deal he signed with the Jay.s
The Rangers signed Japanese pitcher Kazuo Fukumori — good luck with that — and invited Edgardo Alfonzo to spring training. My heart is still with Fonzie and I hope he completes his comeback.
The Twins signed third baseman Mike Lamb. Ho hum.
Finally, lost in the commotion of the Valverde and Haren deals, the AZ Diamondbacks also picked up pitcher Billy Buckner from the Royals in exchange for spare part Alberto Callaspo. I don’t believe he’s related to THE Bill Buckner, but he might have enough talent to help out in the Diamondbacks bullpen next year.
The Mets, meanwhile, continue to rest on the laurels of acquiring Brian Schneider and Ryan Church. Since we haven’t heard boo from a rumors standpoint, I’ll go out on a limb and guess that something big is brewing.