Expos get Floyd, Dempster a Red
Cliff Floyd is on his way to Montreal, but Ryan Dempster won't be coming with him.
The Expos, Florida Marlins and Cincinnati Reds finalized a three-way deal that lands the highly-coveted Floyd, along with infielder Wilton Guerrero and minor-league pitcher Claudio Vargas, in Montreal.
"For us, as far as being able to make a trade without taking on money and being able to get a guy like Cliff Floyd with 70 games left, to me that's a challenge, that is a huge challenge," said Expos rookie general manager Omar Minaya, who also added ace starter Bartolo Colon to the Expos rotation on June 27.
"To be able to add Bartolo Colon and Cliff Floyd without taking on money, that's a huge challenge. But that's why I love this job."
The Expos, in exchange, are sending pitchers Carl Pavano and Graeme Lloyd, utility infielder Mike Mordecai and minor leaguer Justin Wayne to Florida.
Florida also gets a player to be named later, which according to Marlins GM Larry Beinfest was the key to the trade.
"The player to be named late in this trade is a significant and key part this trade," Beinfest said in a conference call.
- Expos outslugged by Braves
Prior to the All-Star break it was reported that Florida had agreed to trade both Floyd and Dempster, a native of Gibsons B.C., to Montreal.
Instead, the Marlins traded the Canadian pitcher to the Reds for outfielder Juan Encarnacion, Guerrero and a minor leaguer.
The Marlins then flipped Guerrero to the Expos.
Montreal also received some cash from Florida to even up the difference in salaries exchanged.
"We just made the Colon trade and that gave us three solid starters plus (Tomo) Ohka and he's done very well, so that's four (starters)," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "So I didn't think it was that important at this time to add a fifth starter over a bat."
Before the Expos could make any deal that would raise their payroll, Minaya needed approval from Major League Baseball. The league has been running the franchise since February when baseball's contraction plan fell through.
"If a situation comes before me which I think can improve the team, my first step is to go to our team president Tony Tavares and present it to him," Minaya said.
"(The payroll) is not flexible right now, but things can change," Tavares added.
Montreal lost the first of a four-game set against the Braves in Atlanta,8-5 earlier in the day. The loss dropped the Expos to 10 1/2 games back of the Braves in the National League East.
Floyd, who began his career in Montreal, will earn $6.5 million this year and will become a free agent after the season.
The 29-year-old slugger entered the All-Star break hitting .287 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs.
"The most appealing thing about Cliff Floyd is that he's been a Montreal Expo, he knows what the city's about, it's not a trade where a guy's going to go to a team and feel uncomfortable," Expos catcher Michael Barrett said. "On top of that, you're talking about a guy who has put up all-star numbers the last couple of years."
Like Floyd, this will be Guerrero's second stint with Montreal. The trade also reunites him with younger brother Vladimir Guerrero. Wilton played three seasons in Montreal beginning in 1998.
The older Guerrero moved to Cincinnati in the 2001, and in 59 games with the Reds this season he hit .244.
Pavano, 26, was obtained by Montreal from Boston in the Pedro Martinez trade but the right-hander slumped this year. He was optioned to the minor leagues on June 21 after going 3-8 with a 6.30 ERA in 15 games with the Expos.
Lloyd, a 35-year-old left-hander who spent time with the Toronto Blue Jays, is 2-3 with five saves and a 5.87 ERA in 41 relief appearances this season.
"I would rather be here than there," Lloyd said. "I've been lied to by (Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria) once or twice and I don't want to get lied to again."
Mordecai, a third baseman, is batting at a .203 clip. He played in 55 games for the Expos this season.
After being named to the NL All-Star team in 2000, the 25-year-old Dempster has stuggled this season, posting a is 5-7 record with 4.79 ERA.
Encarnacion, 26, is hitting .277 with 16 homers and 51 RBIs.
Floyd is the second high-profile player that the usually spend-thrift Expos have added in a month.
On June 27, the Expos picked up pitcher Colon from the Cleveland Indians.
And some are saying the Expos aren't finished adding talent in an effort to make a run at the playoffs in what will be their final season in Montreal.
According to reports, the Expos are also rumoured to be in the market for New York Yankees pitcher Orlando Hernandez.