Chris Coghlan turned his career around in Chicago during the past two seasons and now he’s headed to Oakland, with the Cubs trading the former Rookie of the Year winner to the A’s for right-hander Aaron Brooks.
Coghlan was voted the NL’s top rookie for the Marlins in 2009, but then had four mostly injured and ineffective seasons before joining the Cubs in 2014. Since then he’s hit .265 with a .793 OPS in 273 games as a platoon player while seeing time at left field, right field, second base, and third base.
Moments after making the Coghlan trade the Cubs announced that free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler was spurning the Orioles to re-sign, which comes as a huge surprise and certainly explains the rush to deal Coghlan for a somewhat underwhelming return. Not only do the Cubs have Fowler, Jason Heyward, and Kyle Schwarber as their starting outfield, Jorge Soler is still around.
Brooks seems underwhelming in that he’s 26 years old with an 8.38 ERA in limited MLB action and was a secondary piece of the A’s trade with the Royals for Ben Zobrist. He’s a potential bullpen option, which the Cubs have been collecting this offseason.
Coghlan doesn’t have a clear path to playing time in Oakland at the moment, but the A’s like to platoon as much as any team and he’s best suited to play primarily versus right-handed pitching. He has a lifetime .784 OPS off righties, including .830 in 2014-2015. At age 30 he’s under contract for $4.8 million in his final season before free agency.