A's get infielders Fox, Miles from Cubs

Leave a comment

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.

Video: Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran give signs from the dugout

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers stands in the dugout before their game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.

You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.