The Chicago Cubs traded versatile veteran Chris Coghlan to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks.
Oakland announced the swap on its official Twitter account.
A short time later the Cubs announced the return of Dexter Fowler to fill the roster void created by Coghlan's exit:
Chicago Cubs @Cubs
The #Cubs and OF Dexter Fowler have agreed to terms on a 2016 contract with a mutual option for 2017. #LetsGo https://t.co/l6PYVJgEx62016-2-25 17:38:11
Coghlan played the last two seasons in Chicago after spending the first five years of his career with the Miami Marlins. Left field has been his most common position, but he's played every fielding role other than shortstop and catcher.
His playing time became more sporadic during the latter stages of the 2015 campaign. Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com passed along comments from the 30-year-old career .268 hitter last October about dealing with a lesser role: "I definitely have thought about it. Once your playing time decreases you start to have different questions. At the end of the day it's only about winning. That's it."
He also noted the decreased involvement played a key role in his drop in production: "Consistent playing time is the biggest thing."
It doesn't appear his role will change in Oakland, however. The A's outfield is essentially set with Billy Burns, Josh Reddick and Khris Davis, which means Coghlan will probably spend most of his time filling in around the diamond, unless an injury creates an opening in the starting lineup.
In return, the Cubs get a pitcher in Brooks who's struggled mightily at the MLB level during the early stages of his career. He sports a 8.38 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP across 15 appearances, including 10 starts, with the Athletics and the Kansas City Royals.
His strikeout rate is subpar and his fastball is merely average at 91.6 mph, per FanGraphs. He's a project for the Chicago organization to work on in exchange for getting rid of Coghlan's $4.8 million salary for 2016, per Spotrac.
Ultimately, it's not a trade that will likely end up making a major impact for either side. Coghlan is just an insurance policy for Oakland, and his ability to play virtually anywhere makes him valuable in that regard.