Fox out, Gray in as Chicago and Oakland do trade
Filed:December 4th, 2009
Jake Fox (Cubbie Nation/file)
The Cubs solved a number of problems in one fell swoop Thursday, trading fan favorite Jake Fox, the not-so favorite Aaron Miles, and cash to the Oakland A's for Jeff Gray, and minor leaguers Ronny Morla & Matt Spencer. The official word is here.
Wow, has it really been two weeks since a post? Ouch. I've recently found myself with the opportunity to pursue a few other media endeavors, shooting some pro and collegiate sports. I'm finding that photography is, well, time consuming. That project is still in progress, but if you'd like to get a sneak peek at what I've been working on, take a look at the development site, and look for the go-live for Triple Play in early January.
But back to the trade, where Jim Hendry has managed yet again to show why I like him, and yet still think he should be fired, all in the same trade.
With the move, he managed to do what many considered the unthinkable, in making the albatross of Aaron Miles disappear, and not having to eat all but the league minimum to do it. Some quotes say it all, and Hendry himself put it best in regards to Aaron Miles:
"Aaron will be better served going elsewhere after a very, very tough year for him."
Enough said. According to the news reports, the Cubs will be eating roughly $1 million of his remaining $2.7 million salary, but we'll just chalk that up to the cost of doing business.
In Jake Fox though, the Cubs lose a very potent right-handed bat off the bench, and we're still left to wonder how the Cubs intend to resolve what's looking like a very thin bench, to match a very shaky bullpen. Fox appeared at least serviceable at three positions, making it a bit surprising that he didn't get at least a longer look from the Cubs, even if only to boost his value a touch further.
Price of making Aaron Miles go away? Maybe. However, it still doesn't explain why he couldn't get off the bench in September, with Lou Piniella trotting out Bobby Scales at one point on a daily basis.Or while we got abused by Ryan Freel and Mike Fontenot manning third base for weeks, when he appeared to be a reasonable internal option.
We'll get to listen for the next month about how Spencer could be good, Gray can break camp with the Cubs next season, and that this was just good business, and maybe that's all true. But this looks like yet another move that doesn't help the club immediately, and at best is simply lateral movement. A fringe reliever, and a prospect described as "a more athletic version of Jake Fox" simply don't sound like real improvements to a ballclub in need, and if this is what it takes for the club to save a couple of million, I'm left to wonder further about their 2010 prospects.
I'll wait for the counter-move before passing judgment overall, but this is looking like more of the same from the Hendry team; making a problem go away by creating an even bigger one.
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