Today, the Chicago Cubs traded outfielder Jacque Jones to the Detroit Tigers for infielder Omar Infante. It’s not a bad deal for either team, I think.
For one, Detroit can now platoon the lefty Jones with righty Marcus Thames in left field. If you take the three-year splits for both players (Thames vs. lefties and Jones vs. righties), you end up with a player who hits .281 with a .344 OBP and .476 SLG. Of course, this does not calculate things such as park factor, switching leagues, and age projections for Jones, but you get the idea.
The Cubs end up with Omar Infante, who will no doubt end up filling the Neifi Perez Memorial Utility Role within Lou Pinella’s squad as the player who will end up getting far more ABs than he deserves. The spot has been sadly vacant since Cesar Izturis was traded for 25 cents and a pop tart in July.
But there is a silver lining for the Cubbies here – this all but assures that Matt Murton will get more ABs. I don’t believe that “Big Red” will end up being a star, but he still has a good chance to be an above-average corner outfielder given the chance. He has been criminally underused in Sweet Lou’s regime but now should have the chance to prove himself as a more than viable candidate.