Cubs Trade Izturis, Call-Up Jake Fox
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The Chicago Tribune is reporting
that the Cubs have traded INF Cesar Izturis
to the Pirates for a PTBNL.
Also, OF-1B-C Jake Fox
has been acquired from AA Tennessee.
Pirates 3B Jose Bautista is on the Pirates DL with a hand injury, so I would think Izturis will possibly play 2B for the Bucs, perhaps with Freddy Sanchez moving to 3B. Izturis is still owed about $2M for the balance of 2007, with a $5.85M salary (or $300K buy-out) for 2008.
With Mike Fontenot being strictly a 2B and with Piniella apparently unwilling to play Mark DeRosa at SS, trading Izturis should result in the return of PCL June Player of the Month Ronny Cedeno
to Chicago. Ryan Theriot is doing a fine job as the everyday SS, so how much PT Cedeno will get will be the big question.
I figured Fox as one of the players the Cubs were going to add to the 40-man roster after the season, so this is just an early start toward that end. Of course it also means one of his options will get burned 20 days after he’s returned to the minors.
Fox has as much power as any player in the Cubs organization. He is the proverbial “first-ball/fastball” hitter who never met a fastball he didn’t like. (Waveland Avenue or Bust!). He’s not quite as fond of breaking stuff and off-speed pitches, though, unless he knows what’s coming.
He can play 1B-LF-RF (his best position is probably LF, although he is a defensive liability no matter where plays) and also can catch in a pinch, although his days as a front-line catcher are very likely over.
Fox was Rich Hill’s catcher at the University of Michigan, so if R. Hill still misses Barrett and Murton, Fox’s arrival should help cheer him up.