Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Where's My Other Shoe?
2007-11-12 11:09
by Derek Smart

This Jacque Jones for Omar Infante thing has been floating around for a while, and now it's finally done, with the Cubs sending over Jones and a suitcase stuffed full of a currently undisclosed amount of cash, in exchange for Jose Macias' long lost younger brother.  My first thought is: why?  My second thought is: why?  My third thought is: if there's not something else coming down the pike, I'm gonna be more than a little annoyed.

It's not that I'm going to miss Jacque - even if last year's collapse was a complete fluke, the need to move him and move on was still acute - it's that absent further action, I don't understand making a deal for something that you already have an abundance of - banjo-hitting middle infielders?  Check. - and paying for the privilege besides, especially when Infante's going to make over $1M himself (he's arb-eligible, and made $1.3M last season), and Jones was only due $5M (although, according to Cot's, it looks like he might be due some of his signing bonus in January, so if that's what's passing between teams, then I'll get over it. Well, I'll get over it no matter what, I suppose.). Let me be clear, though. Any issues I have are less to do with the amount of bounty received - I doubt very much that Jones has any market value left - than with the type of bounty. Give me a raw, super-wild, live arm from low-A, because there's a shot I could utilize that some day. Baby Macias - just like Baby Muppets - I have no use for.

Yet, despite my initial show of bluster, this is a difficult deal to evaluate without understanding a couple more things, namely:

1) How full was the suitcase?

2) What move(s) does this one precede?

First assumption: that Felix Pie is the starting center fielder next year.

Second assumption: that a left-handed hitting outfielder will be somehow acquired for daily application in right field, and that there will be at least some savings realized in the Infante deal that will make this acquisition more financially viable.

These, of course, have nothing to do with the use of Infante himself, which leads us to the third assumption: as has been speculated widely when this deal was mere rumor, Infante is the piece that makes one of the other middle infielders in the organization redundant enough to be included in a larger deal.  For what, I'm not sure, and that result is going to weigh heavily in the eventual evaluation of this little move.

I'm pleased enough to see Jacque go, as he clearly hasn't the skillset to help solve this team's problems, I just can't tell yet if the way he went will actually reap any benefits for the organization beyond the mere fact of his absence.

2007-11-12 12:13:02
1.   regfairfield
Isn't getting rid of Jacque Jones reward enough? If anything they can just non tender Infante.
2007-11-12 14:23:55
2.   Mike J
Infante stinks, but he's probably a safer choice for utility infielder than Ronny Cedeno. If Fontenot could play short, then Infante wouldn't even have that spot. The clear motive of this trade, though, is to get rid of Jones, and hopefully that means they're going to sign somebody good to play center. I highly doubt that they will go with Pie alone, unless they have solid insurance behind him (which I would have considered Jones to be.) If they have to acquire Infante to clear the way for someone else to play Center, so be it.
2007-11-14 07:35:59
3.   Kyl3
Infante has a lot of upside...and he was never really given a chance in Detroit (only had 70 some odd at bats this past year) plus I have heard rumblings that picking up Infante was part of a master plan at making a run at Carl Crawford. So who wouldn't like that...

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