Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Expos trade Floyd to Red Sox

The Associated Press

        ANAHEIM, Calif. — Cliff Floyd was traded for the second time in three weeks, with the Montreal Expos sending the power-hitting outfielder to Boston on Tuesday night for minor league pitchers Seung Song and Sun-Woo Kim.

        Floyd, an All-Star last season, is hitting .275 with 21 homers and 61 RBIs.

        “It's weird. Getting traded twice in a season is something new for me, but this is the way this game rolls,” Floyd said in Montreal. “You've got to go with the flow and I'm going to a great situation. Boston is a great team.”

        As part of the deal struck before today's 4 p.m. EDT trade deadline, Montreal also gets a player to be named.

        Most of the Red Sox players who talked about the deal after a 6-0 victory over Anaheim welcomed the news. But All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra thought the club already was good enough.

        “I always said we didn't need anything, but we don't make those decisions,” Garciaparra said. “I'm happy with our team. We're sitting pretty, and I'm confident with the guys who have been playing day in and day out.”

        The deal reunites Floyd with Red Sox owner John Henry, who bought the Marlins when Floyd was already on the team.

        “Cliff called and said he had a smile from ear to ear,” Henry said during a telephone conference call. “He fits very nicely into our lineup.”

        Floyd is expected to join Boston in time for tonight's game in Anaheim. He is eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season. He is being paid $6.5 million this season.

        “Hopefully, this will be my last stop in terms of trades and all this junk,” he said. “I'm a free agent at the end of this season but, hopefully, we won't even go that far. Hopefully, I can sit still and play with a team that's pretty much stacked in every area.”

        Red Sox interim general manager Mike Port said the team envisions signing Floyd to an extension.

        “We hope the long-term relationship he's had with John Henry will give us the inside track,” team president Larry Lucchino said.

        Floyd homered Tuesday night for the Expos, who acquired him after the All-Star break from Florida.

        “Cliff is a good player and a good teammate,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “Everybody likes Cliff Floyd. He's got a lot of ability, and we're glad to have him with us.”

        Floyd spent his first four seasons in Montreal. After hitting .287 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs with Florida, he was dealt back to the Expos on July 11 and struggled in his second stint with the Expos, batting .207 with three homers and four RBIs in 53 at-bats.

        Boston ace Pedro Martinez played with Floyd in Montreal.

        “He's always happy, always smiling,” he said. “I think he's going to be a great addition.”

        At the time of the first deal, Floyd said he welcomed a return to Montreal, but the 29-year-old wasn't able to generate similar numbers. He left Florida as the last remaining member of the Marlins' 1997 World Series championship team.

        “I wish we had done better and the situation would have been different but we didn't, and I played a big part of it,” Floyd said. “I didn't do as well as I thought I should have in the 50 at-bats or so that I got here, but I felt my swing starting to come around so hopefully I can go help their team.”

        The Red Sox also were working Tuesday night to make a deal for a pitcher, but Lucchino indicated a reluctance to part with left-hander Casey Fossum.

        “Casey Fossum was a popular name on the telephone calls and conversations the last eight or 10 days,” Lucchino said. “It's safe to say we envision Casey as an important young building block for this franchise.”

        The deal marked a turnaround for Expos general manager Omar Minaya, who obtained pitcher Bartolo Colon from Cleveland on June 27, then made the Floyd deal with Florida.

        “When we acquired Cliff Floyd there were close to 70 games left,” Minaya said. “Right now, we have close to 50 games left. We've got five teams in front of us. When we acquired Cliff Floyd, we didn't have five teams in front of us. I think we were second in the wild card. That's one difference.”

        Song is 7-7, with a 4.39 ERA in 21 games for Double-A Trenton.

        The 22-year-old South Korean was obtained by the Red Sox as a free agent in 1999. The right-hander led Boston's farm system with a 1.90 ERA and 135 strikeouts last season, when he split time between Sarasota of the Florida State League and Augusta of the South Atlantic League.

        Kim is 4-2, with a 3.18 ERA in eight starts for Triple A Pawtucket.


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