Earlier today we told you that Jerry Crasnick is reporting the Tampa Bay Rays are close to signing free agent outfielder Cliff Floyd. The Rays have been in the market for a player that is a left-handed bat and could play right field and occasionally DH.

With the signing of Floyd, the Rays lineup on a daily basis would feature some combination of Floyd, Jonny Gomes and Rocco Baldelli. Against right handed pitchers, Floyd will be in the lineup with Gomes or Baldelli filling the other spot. Against left handed pitchers, Floyd will be on the bench with both Gomes and Baldelli in the lineup in right field and at DH.

The ability to play match-up with his lineups depending on the starting pitcher gives manager Joe Maddon a distinct advantage. However, it is unclear how much how difference this will make to the Rays offensive output in 2008.

To answer this question we looked at how many plate appearances Delmon Young received in 2007 (he played all 162 games) and projected that out as if Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes had platooned in right field. To makes these estimations we used the three-year averages of each player (Gomes vs LHP and Floyd vs. RHP), and projected those over the number of plate appearances that Young had against left handed pitchers (172) and right handed pitchers (509) in 2007.

As can be seen from the numbers…while the batting average are comparable, Rays right fielders in 2008 will be on base at a much higher rate and will produce a much higher slugging percentage, which would lead to a 150 point boost in OPS. If we use the most basic formula for Runs Created (RC=R+RBI-HR), the combination of Gomes and Floyd will produce 162 runs in 2008 compared to the 145 runs created by Young in 2007. (Again…these numbers are only for a hypothetical right-field platoon. These numbers only reflect Gomes’ and Floyd’s production as right-fielders. Gomes will receive considerably more than the 172 plate appearances calculated here).

And none of this considers that a season in which Baldelli logs considerable time at DH, will be a marked improvement over the Rays’ DH production seen in 2007. Nor does it consider the clubhouse impact of a player like Floyd, who is well respected among his peers and fans as a player that will do whatever is asked and often takes the field with injuries that would sideline a weaker human being.

Last month when the Rays traded Delmon Young and two scrubs for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett, it appeared as if the Rays had improved their pitching and defense at the expense of the offense. While Cliff Floyd will command a higher salary than Delmon Young in 2008, and clearly Floyd will not be around nearly as long as Young would have been, the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays figure to be considerably better on the mound, in the field and at the plate, as a direct result of these two moves.

Source: Rays, Floyd could have deal in place by weekend [ESPN]



  1. Anonymous says:

    if the Rays sign Floyd...sounds like we are just waiting for the physical...there would have been no need for Broussard

  2. Robert Rittner says:

    I agree absolutely. Of course, the issue many raise is that projecting forward the Rays may be losing the production of a superstar right fielder, and that it is certainly possible (if unlikely) that Young will blossom as a serious power hitter in 2008. Projecting from Young's stats so far in comparison to Floyd's/Gomes' is not exactly legitimate as they are at such different stages of their careers.

    I also would not demean the rest of what Minnesota acquired. While I think it was a terrific trade for TB, I don't think Harris and Pridie are necessarily dross. Harris seems to be a good hitter, especially for a middle infielder or bench player. Although he did not walk a lot, he seemed to see a lot of pitches per at bat. And Pridie may develop as well.

    This could very well be a win/win trade with more than just the big names panning out for each team.

  3. The Professor says:

    i didnt mean to belittle their ability. as i have contended from the beginning, Harris and Pridie would have no significant role with the Rays anytime in the near future, so it was the same as trading two nobodies.

    Harris is fact has a very god bat. prior to the all-star game last season, he had one of the top 5 first halves ever by a shortstop that did not make an all-star team.

    in addition to the pieces in the trade and Floyd, keep in mind the Rays also "acquired" Jason Hammel for the bullpen. He may turn out to be quite a find as a long reliever/spot starter. i trust him out there more than Ryu or Howell.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The guys are "nuts" if you think that the Rays are better off with Floyd than Young! Floyd's greatness is determined by the number of teams he has played for in the past few years! With thinking like this, I can see why thr Rays are one of the lost teams in MLB>

  5. Anonymous says:

    correction.."one of the worst teams in MLB"

  6. The Professor says:

    my only point is that a Floyd/Gomes duo in 2007 would have been superior to Delmon Young and likely will be in 2008.

    Of course, DY is the better bet long-term, but he posted the worst OPS of any right fielder in baseball last season.

  7. Robert Rittner says:

    Nobody said the Rays are better off with Floyd than with Young. But I will say they are better off with Garza and Bartlett plus Floyd in 2008 than with Young and Harris. That is of course a debatable point, but it is not an outrageous or nutty one.

    I also think the Professor's point about a Floyd/Gomes platoon outproducing Young in right field in 2008 is reasonable. I don't think it is definite, but certainly possible, even likely.

  8. Anonymous says:

    you are also assuming Floyd can stay healthy all season. He has only played more than 121 games 4 times in 14 seasons.

  9. The Professor says:

    of course...but also consider that Floyd will probably only be asked to play 130 games (give or take).

    We have to assume that Pappa Joe would give him at least one day a week off, which would be 25 games, and occasionally give him back-to-back games off.

    in addition, of those 130 games, he will probably DH in at least 30. So we would only be expecting Floyd to play 90-100 games in right field.

  10. Robert Rittner says:

    Yes, in any projection there are lots of assumptions. Of course, you are assuming that Young will learn to be more patient at the plate and to drive the ball in the air rather than hit grounders and line drives and that pitchers will not be able to exploit his hacking ways more. I think your assumption is reasonable; I think that the assumption that Floyd can play enough games as DH/RF, given the less arduous role he will have and the well-regarded TB medical staff is also reasonable. We may both be right or wrong or one or the other assumptions may be wrong.

    Incidentally, this issue of Floyd's health and age was raised in a BP chat with Will Carroll yesterday, and he responded that it was a good risk for the Rays. Carroll's specialty is health issues.

  11. Brian says:

    This is a weak projection.

    First of all, Floyd and Gomez will undoubtedly end up having many at bats against same-handed pitchers. Their three year averages against opposite-handed pitchers doesn't work there.

    Further, the three-year average includes Floyd's huge year - a clear outlier at this point in his career.

    His fragility will undoubtedly cause scrubs to take up at bats - once again, not Floyd AB's.

    Finally, its projected against Young's '07. Nice try - he's going to get better and quick.

  12. The Professor says:

    wow. you missed the point of the entire post.
    1. yes, i know they will get ABs against oft-handed pitchers, but it almost assured that Floyd will ALWAYS be in there against RHP and Gomes will ALWAYS be in against LHP. combined that is a full season against the opposite handed pitchers. yes, there will be other ABs. but we are just comparing the potential platoon vs Young. OVERALL numbers will be much different.
    2.yes, it includes the one huge year. AND two years well below average. that is why we used a 3-year avg. also, the one huge year was the only one of the three in which Floyd was healthy. as mentioned earlier, there should be considerably less strain on Floyd and he is more likely to remain healthy. so which is more likely, the healthy year stats? or the injury-riddled stats? or something in the middle? that is why we used the average.
    3.yes Young will get better. but i am not so sure it will be that quickly. at worst. if Gomes and Floyd are average and Young is better, it is a wash. no biggie, considering the upgrade in the rotation and defense at short.

  13. Brian says:

    Sure, the Delmon trade was a good one for the Rays. I like Garza. Its also way easier to find a corner outfielder on the open market than it is to find a good starter - so kudos to the Rays management.

    I'm just saying the actual number crunching here was unrealistic. I didn't miss the point. Young will likely outproduce the Floyd/Gomes platoon because Floyd is going to severly underperform his three year average, miss time, and both hitters will face same-handed pitching much of the time. And no, Floyd will probably not fall somewhere in the middle - he's old and he's toast, and the last I checked, the Rays medical staff didn't work miracles.

    That being said - the Rays are the team I'm pulling for in the AL this year.

  14. Robert Rittner says:

    There is no reason to think that Floyd is toast. First, the Rays will not sign him if his physical condition does not at least promise some durability. Second, his 2007, while not outstanding, was not terrible either. His line was .284/.373/.422 for an OPS+ of 102. Not scintillating but not toast either. And in his 33 ABs vs. lefties he hit .303/.395/.424.

    I would not be so presumptuous as to assert he will be better or even as good again. He is definitely a risk. But to announce that he is toast is equally invalid.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Floyd is not toast, he's not even chopped liver! He's been injured every year. The Mets & Cubs were in desperate need for a LHH outfielder and they both let him go.

    Garza has potential but the Rays are loaded with young pitchers with potential. That's what happens when you're a bad team and draft #1 or #2 each year.

    Questions #1- Could or would the Rays have traded a group of young prospects to Marlins for Dontrell Willis $ Miguel Cabrera?Answer,No. Why, $$$$.

    Questions #2- How are the Rays going to compete in the AL-East with Yankees & Red Sox with only young prospects, Cliff Floyd and no $$$$$.

    Only the 3 divison winners and one wild card team make the playoffs. In the next 10 years, where do the Rays fit in the following list of teams fighting for a playoff spot:Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Tigers, Indians,Marniers,Twins, BlueJays, etc.? Superstars get you on that list, not Cliff Floyd.

    They can change their name & uniforms, but they are the same Tampa Devils Rays!


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