Confident Floyd joins White Sox
CHICAGO -- Gavin Floyd said he's relaxed, confident and looking forward to pitching for the White Sox even if the deal that brought him from Philadelphia on Wednesday is an unpopular one with the Chicago fans.
The White Sox wanted to get younger, so they sent veteran Freddy Garcia to the Phillies for Floyd and minor-league pitcher Gio Gonzalez. The right-handed Floyd is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation with Brandon McCarthy.
"I'm real confident in myself," Floyd said during a conference call on Friday. "It'll be a good year. I'm very happy to come to the White Sox, (who have) a reputation of winning, and have a good time. That's what I'm looking forward to."
Also Friday, right-handed reliever Mike MacDougal agreed to a $6.45 million, three-year contract.
The fourth overall selection in the 2001 amateur draft, Floyd has pitched like a can't-miss prospect and a first-round flop. He earned a spot in the Phillies' rotation last spring but was sent to Triple-A on June 3, after going 4-3 with a 7.29 ERA in 11 starts. He has almost as many walks (64) as strikeouts (75) in 108 2/3 innings over parts of three seasons.
"I worked real hard in the offseason, and I've progressed over the past couple of years," said Floyd, who turns 24 next month. "I've become myself after going off track a little bit. Now, I know who I am as a pitcher. ... With a lot of time, I was able to get myself back on track, to relax and regain my focus."
White Sox fans haven't embraced this trade.
Even though Garcia struggled much of last season, he finished 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA. The year before, he pitched seven shutout innings in Game 4 of the World Series against Houston and was 3-0 in the postseason.
"I don't feel like I have to fill his shoes," Floyd said. "I feel relieved, actually, to become part of a winning team."
MacDougal was eligible for salary arbitration this winter and free agency following the 2009 season. He gets salaries of $1.5 million in 2007, $1.95 million in 2008 and $2.65 million in 2009, and Chicago has a $3.75 million option for 2010 with a $350,000 buyout.
The 29-year-old right-hander was 1-1 with a 1.55 ERA and one save in 29 relief appearances with Kansas City and the White Sox, who acquired him July 24 for minor league pitchers Daniel Cortes and Tyler Lumsden. MacDougal was 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 25 outings with Chicago.
MacDougal is 11-15 with a 3.62 ERA and 50 saves in 187 relief appearances over six major league seasons. He was an AL All-Star in 2003.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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