The Cubs surely wanted to get rid of Miles and his $2.7 million owed in 2010. And obviously they weren't going to find a team to just take that right off their hands for nothing, so in came 26-year-old Jake Fox. Fox hit 11 homers and had a .779 OPS for the Cubs in 241 plate appearances in 2009, after leading the minors in homers, runs batted in, and batting average during his Triple-A stint earlier in the year. Miles on the other hand was a disaster for the Cubs, batting just .185 with a .466 OPS after signing a two-year, $4.9 million contract in the offseason.
No word yet as to what prospects the Cubs got in return. We'll update when the information becomes available.
UPDATE: According to Joe Hamrahi of Baseball Daily Digest, the Cubs acquired pitcher Jeff Gray, outfielder Matt Spencer, and pitcher Ronny Morla from the A's.
UPDATE: Jeff Gray was selected by the A's in the 32nd round of the 2004 draft. He's a 28-year-old 6'3", 205 pound right-hander. He pitched in 24 games out of the bullpen for the A's in 2009, putting together a 3.76 ERA, with 19 strikeouts and only four walks in 26.1 innings pitched. He gives up a lot of hits, but has walked just 86 batters in 370.2 minor league innings pitched. He could be a part of the Cubs bullpen in 2010.
Matt Spencer, 23, was a third round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007, and was then packaged in the Joe Blanton trade to the A's. He hit .289, with 19 homers, 91 runs batted in, and had an .833 OPS between Single-A and Double-A in 2009. He pretty much seems like a left-handed version of Jake Fox, as he has lots of power and appears to be a bad player defensively at first base and the outfield. He had six errors in 50 games in left field this past season.
Ronny Morla is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. He spent 2009 in A-ball, where he went 1-7 with a 4.86 ERA. He struck out 73 batters in 64 innings, and has 239 strikeouts in 256.1 career innings in the minors.
UPDATE: The Cubs also are eating $1 million of the $2.7 million owed on Miles' contract this season. Therefore, they must think highly of these prospects to toss in Fox on top of that.
UPDATE: From payoff_pitch(Northwest Herald) on Twitter:
Jim Hendry describes Gray as a "power arm," likens to Guzman's. Says he can throw 95-97, will compete for a bullpen spot.
"He's got the stuff to be able to pitch in any area of the bullpen if he just harnesses it a little better."
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