Two big transactions have affected the White Sox starting rotation this winter. Mark Buehrle was not resigned, allowing him to join Ozzie Guillen in a Miami Marlins uniform. Chicago then signed John Danks to a five-year contract.
Is Floyd, whose contract is set to expire after the 2012 season unless the team picks up his option, destined to be traded to shave another $7 million off the books? Or, has GM Kenny Williams decided that retaining Floyd is the wiser path?
Since becoming a regular member of the Chicago rotation in 2008, Floyd has had double-digit victories in each of his four full seasons in the bigs. He has posted sub-.500 records both in 2010 and 2011, but has been a dependable middle of the rotation arm.
The stuff that Floyd used to post a 17-8 record in 2008 is still apparent. However, as he approaches his 29th birthday this month, there are doubts that Floyd will ever put it all together and become the ace of Chicago's staff.
At $2.5 million in 2010, Floyd was a bargain. His 12-13 record last season cost the White Sox that $5 million. How much higher will his salary climb before Williams starts looking for better value?
Floyd is set to earn $7 million in 2012. The White Sox have a $9.5 option for 2013. Williams will have to weigh his options.
Right now, Floyd, John Danks, Jake Peavy, Phil Humber, and Chris Sale appear to be the five Chicago starters. Peavy's contract expires at season's end and it's almost a given Williams declines the $21 million option.
Once Peavy's salary comes off the payroll, Floyd's option becomes a manageable expense. It is for this reason that Williams may decide to hang on to Floyd. After all, Floyd pitched nearly 200 innings despite the White Sox being on a six-man rotation for much of the season.
On the other hand, all it takes is the right asking price for Williams to change his stance.
Right now, Chicago is moving salary with the hopes of remaining competitive. Williams is likely to field offers throughout the offseason, but keeping Floyd in the fold gives them the opportunity to do just that.
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