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.

Mike Scioscia will return as Angels manager in 2016

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 21:  Manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the dugout during batting practice before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 21, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images

It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.

Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.

Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.

“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”

Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.

After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.

Carlos Gomez says he’ll be in lineup for Wild Card game vs. Yankees

Houston Astros' Carlos Gomez hoops after scoring a run against the Texas Rangers in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Houston. Gomez scored from third base on a Bobby Wilson passed ball. The Astros won 4-2. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.

This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.

Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.