The Cardinals re-signed outfielder Preston Wilson to a one-year deal, and from a distance, it looks a lot like the Saint Louies were trying to reenact the Cubs' signing of Cliff Floyd:
The team adds a potentially helpful veteran bat, though actually playing the veteran could mean robbing an up-and-coming young player--in the Cards' case, Chris Duncan; in the Cubs' case, Matt Murton--of needed at bats.
For the Cardinals, Wilson, a righthanded hitter, is 32. Duncan, a lefthanded hitter is 25.
For the Cubs: Floyd, a lefthanded hitter, is 34. Murton, a righthanded hitter is 25.
That's about where the similarities end, however.
According to Tony LaRussa, Wilson, who can still run, will see playing time all over the St. Louis outfield, He'll share leftfield duty with Duncan, who could use a platoon partner (539 OPS against lefthanders in '06!); sub occasionally for the wellness-challenged Jim Edmonds in center; and fill in for Juan Encarnacion, who had off-season wrist surgery, in right.
As has been discussed here and elsewhere, the Floyd/Murton split is a little harder to figure. The fact is, Murton outhit Floyd against lefties (870 OPS vs. 631) and righties last year (782 OPS vs. 765), Murton is nine years younger, and of the two, only Murton is not coming off a major Achilles tendon injury.
Wilson and Floyd are both on the downsides of their careers. But from here, Wilson appears to be the better fit for his '07 team.