A's get infielders Fox, Miles from Cubs

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ESPN Chicago is reporting that the A’s have acquired Jake Fox and Aaron Miles from the Cubs for reliever Jeff Gray and two prospects.
It’s hard to imagine that the A’s actually wanted Miles. Instead, taking all or a portion of his $2.7 million salary was part of the price to get Fox, who is under control for six years and making the minimum. Fox has been a nice minor league slugger for years, but he really busted out last season and hit .259/.311/.468 in 216 at-bats in sporadic playing time for the Cubs. The 27-year-old use to catch and has seen action at first, third and both outfield corners. The A’s could see him as a cheap replacement for the arbitration-eligible Jack Cust in the DH spot.
Since they took on Miles, I’m going to assume that the A’s didn’t give up any notable prospects here. Gray is a middling right-handed reliever who figures to have a difficult time winning a spot on the Cubs pitching staff next spring.
Update – Outfielder Matt Spencer and right-hander Ronny Morla were the two prospects in the deal.
Spencer, 23, was previously acquired from the Phillies in the Joe Blanton deal. He’s a left-handed hitter with some pop and on-base ability, but probably not enough of either to make it as a regular. He might top out as a quad-A player. Morla, 21, is a long shot to have a career as a reliever.
Update 2The Daily Herald reports that the Cubs are kicking in $1 million of the $2.7 million that Miles will make in the final year of his two-year contract.

Terry Francona, Dave Roberts win Sporting News’ Manager of the Year Awards

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19:  Terry Francona #17 of the Cleveland Indians reacts during batting practice before a game with the Boston Red Sox on August 19, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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The BBWAA hands out its own Manager of the Year Awards in November, and they tend to be the better-recognized awards, but The Sporting News has been handing out its Manager of the Year awards since 1936, so we figure they’re worth mentioning too. This year The Sporting News’ panel of 29 major league managers has named Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Terry Francona its Managers of the Year.

Roberts took over a somewhat fractured Dodgers clubhouse and overcame an historic number of player injuries — requiring the use of 55 different players on the 25-man roster — to lead L.A. to yet another National League West title and an appearance in the NLCS. Francona, meanwhile, took a team that was thought to be more of a Wild Card contender to 94 wins and the AL Central title, besting theTigers by eight games and the defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals by thirteen.


Clayton Kershaw does not need back surgery

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands on the pitcher's mound in the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs during game two of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says thatClayton Kershaw is unlikely to need back surgery for the herniated disk that sidelined him for more than two months during the season.

Friedman says that Kershaw feels good and that he doesn’t anticipate surgery. It was unclear if that would be the case because, even as Kershaw came back in September and pitched deep into the playoffs, often on short rest, everyone was fairly tight-lipped about how Kershaw was feeling.

For what it’s worth, Kershaw looked sound mechanically, even if was up and down at times in October.