We’ve heard plenty this offseason about the Chicago Cubs’ targets, but very little about current Cubs headed out the door. Two of the players that make sense as trade bait are utility players Jake Fox and Aaron Miles.
They make sense in that capacity for very different reasons, of course: Fox, because he’s cheap and should have a great deal of value to small market AL teams, and Miles, because, well, um, so many commas, he sucks.
The Cubs have heard from numerous team about Jake Fox. American League clubs such as Kansas City and Oakland believe Fox can be a valuable asset as a part-time designated hitter and position player.
The Cubs will deal Fox because he really doesn’t fit as a National League bench player. In the National League you need to come off the bench as a pinch-hitter and then play a position or two as the manager tries to fit you into late game situations and double switches. Although Fox can really hit the fastball, the former Michigan All-American catcher never has been able to overcome a good-hit, no-field reputation. Fox has worked extremely hard at honing his skills at third base and outfield but unfortunately for him, the results have only been marginal.
The Cubs will also try to move infielder Aaron Miles. The former White Sox, Rockie and Cardinal never got over the hump last season due to personal and physical setbacks. Miles will make $2.7 million in the second year of two-year contract after hitting .185 in 74 games. The Cubs will consider eating some of Miles’ contract but at age 33, the switch-hitting infielder should have some productive years left as a backup infielder. Believe it or not Cubs fans, Miles is a career .282 career hitter. ESPN Chicago.
The Cubs, I imagine, would gladly send off Miles for nothing if they found a team willing to take on as much as $2 million of his 2.7 million 2010 salary.
Levine takes the unnecessary shot at Fox’s defensive abilities – it seems to me he was more than adequate at, for example, third base in his relief of Aramis Ramirez – but that is the perception, which will necessarily hurt Fox’s value. Moving Fox at the peak of his value makes sense, but it won’t result in any cost-cutting for the Cubs. Still, the bench is already looking very crowded for next year, with guys like Mike Fontenot (or Jeff Baker), Andres Blanco, Micah Hoffpauir, Reed Johnson (if he returns), Sam Fuld, Tyler Colvin, and Koyie Hill already in the mix.
Getting a couple high ceiling, low level prospects would be a very nice return for Fox.
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