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June 22, 2010

O's acquire Fox from A's for minor league reliever Ross Wolf

The Orioles acquired utility man Jake Fox from the Oakland Athletics this morning for minor league reliever Ross Wolf, according to sources.

Fox is on his way here and should be in uniform tonight when the Orioles begin a three-game series with the Florida Marlins.

Wolf, 27, was 0-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 25 games for Triple-A Norfolk. The right-hander went 4-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 47 appearances for the Tides last year.

To create a roster spot, the Orioles optioned pitcher Chris Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk and designated right-handed pitcher Cla Meredith for assignment.

The roster move temporarily saves Garrett Atkins' spot, but the team might need to make another move Saturday if it promotes Brad Bergesen to make the start that night, so Atkins is hardly out of the woods. Both interim manager Juan Samuel and pitching coach Rick Kranitz said they need to get Tillman pitching every five days and it's not happening here now.

The A’s designated Fox on June 14. The 27-year-old hit .214 with two homers and 12 RBIs for Oakland after batting .259 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs for the Chicago Cubs last year. He can catch and play both corner infield and outfield positions.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 1:01 PM | | Comments (63)


what now, the As wouldn't take Atkins?

Leave it to the Orioles to send out Moore when they had other obvious candidates like Atkins or Tejada.

Jeff Z's reply: Who said they sent out Moore?

Would they just DFA Atkins for goodness sakes? What does Tillman have to prove at AAA? Tell me that.

Jeff Z"s reply: Tillman looked lost up here. He had the deer in the headlight look like it was all moving too fast for him. Not to mention his fastball was barely breaking 88 and his command was not good at all. He needs to get his confidence back and that isn't happening up here with that 8.40 ERA.

Why would they trade for Fox if they could just pick him up on waivers once the 10 days expired? Afraid the A's would trade him elsewhere?

Jeff Z's reply: Yes, the A's were shopping him around elsewhere. I don't think the guy they give up is going to be a big deal at all.

can't wait till Atkins is out....

I think Fox will be a good upgrade over Atkins.

I'm torn about what to do with Tillman, he certainly needs to pitch every 5 days, any news about his lack of velocity during his last start?

Oh great, another ex-Cub. This guy's .214 average will fit right in our lineup.

Why go through contortions to keep Atkins on the roster for another couple of days. If he was all that was standing between the Orioles and a "Random Fan plays first for a day" Promotion, he should still be cut immediately.

Great. Another guy that can't hit or get on base.

Jeff, has there been any talk of using Fox as the back up catcher? Or will he be used primarily as a first baseman? I like the idea of a back up catcher who is capable of playing more than one position. It creates flexibility in the lineups.

Jeff Z's reply: O's haven't even announced the trade yet so they haven't gotten into how they plan to use him. But the impression I got is he'll play primarily first, and could be used in left field or as the third catcher.

Would rather they picked up Edwin Encarnacion but he's not white and incompetent so he wouldn't fit into the O's plans.


Do the O's have any interest in Encarnacion?

Jeff Z's reply: Haven't heard that one.

Here we go again...rearranging the chairs on the Titantic.

So let me get this straight. We traded a Wolf and got a Fox?

Jeff Z's reply: Well done, Paul.

Encarnacion vs. Fox... I would take Encarnacion.

Wouldn't you?

Why? Does Fox really make the O's better? Unless the next move is to unload some salary, which it does not appear to, this is really a wasted roster move.

Does McPhail have any knowledge about players that may be available that DIDN'T play for the Cubs?

Now how does that Fox addition help?
We have Atkins who is hitting .219 with 1 home run and 9 RBI's, and we get Fox who is hitting .214 wirh 2 home runs and 12 RBI's. Now that is quite an upgrade!!??


I think the natural inclination is for fans to view Fox as a replacement for Atkins. I think that is short-sighted.

In my opinion, MacPhail made this move as insurance for when Wigginton gets traded. Because of the injuries to this team, and the roles that Ty has played this year, the O's needed to acquire someone in the Wigginton-mold.

I view this acquisition as a smart buy-low move that enables us to now aggressively try and move Wigginton. And I wouldn't be surprised is Atkins is not DFA after all.

Are you kidding me? We trade a successful minor leaguer (ERA 2.11) for another subpar player whose stats look like Atkins. Unbelievable. When will the misery ever end. oh yeah, Ravens Camp just around corner. Yeah!!!

Wow. This sounds like a block buster trade. This should send the Orioles over the top.

Tillman pitches lights out in AAA but gets bombed in the bigs. Does that make him a AAAA pitcher? What do the Orioles think will happen at Norfolk that will make Tillman a big league pitcher? Do they think it will take a month, a year, two years?

If we are going to keep Adkins then let him play first, cut the backup catcher, and let Fox catch. This refusal to play Adkins while we continue to keep him on the roster just shows the idiocy of the Orioles management.

Hal W-
Jake Fox can add the ability to play multiple positions like Wigginton. This could allow us to move Wiggy at deadline time.

the orioles are having bullpen problems...yes, besides everyhting else. so we send out a reliever, that has been pitching well for a guy who can barely hit the ball? sounds like another one of those great Oriole trades

i smell penant now!!!

With all the recent cutbacks, to all those suggesting Atkins be let go, please remember the 25th man now cleans the uniforms, commodes and clubhouse. Who is more worthy of that job than Mr. $4M? I like the idea of Atkins doing that job to earn his $$$

The O's already have nine utility players on the 25 man roster.

I dont understand. Orioles have bullpen problem and we trade a reliver who had a 2.17 era..... for a utility man.... what is team doing

How long until Russ "2.11" Wolf is shutting down Orioles batters?

It seems that I'm one of the few who think this wasn't a bad move. Fox hasn't produced at all this year, but he showed some pop last year with the Cubs (11 HR's and 44 RBI's in 216 AB's). And in 2008 & 2009, in 669 AB's at AA and AAA, he had 48 HR's and 158 RBI's. The O's could use numbers like those, though only time will tell if he can provide them...

Was there some concern that Bradon Snyder couldn't come up and hit .214 if we trade Wiggy? That Atkins can't hit .214? Please, someone in the press call up McPhail and ask him what the point of this trade is. Seriously. What a joke.

Honestly - why make this move?
What purpose does this trade serve?

One crap player for another crap player. Neither one fit into the long-term plan so why go after him...?

The whole club needs a kick in the a$$. They are all there to collect their check and nothing more. Performance Pay is the way to go...high upside incentive individually and for the club as a whole.

and let's face it...BRob is not coming back...probably ever... most likely he will retire at the end of the year and get into broadcasting.
10 years of rebuilding and still nothing.

IMHO - fired them all, anybody who is bad in the clubhouse, doesn't have a huge contract and can't produce.

But keep Millwood! any other team he would have a great record.

I am surprised any starting pitcher would want to come here...

Wow me and Jeff Z are thinking the same! Tillman not only looked lost up here, he can't get out anyone with 88mph belt high.

I bet this Fox guy homers in his first game here! That for sure will send Atkins packing.

As for Moore, he rolled his ankle, he'll sit for a bit.

Thank God, the Oriole's are saved!!!!!

Wolf was fairly efficient at Norfolk... Montanez is a candidate for the Tides. He himself indicated he needed to bat more, and even hinted he'd welcome a short stint in AAA. Bergeson was not terribly impressive last night so, unless they've decided to elevate him anyway, sending Tillman down reduces the options. The Orioles still have a lot of stiffs on the roster...

The Orioles already have 50 losses well before the All-Star break – easily on a pace for one of the worst records in baseball history. So how do you fix a team this broken? You trade for some loser batting .214, as the Orioles did today. Yep, you trade for yet another guy who can’t bat .220 to complement the set of losers you already have in place who can’t bat .220. I’d say the Orioles are now the team to beat in the AL East. Thanks for another shred move, Andy MacFail.

Yes, Wolf for Fox. And they threw in a Party of Five DVD.

Cool, another retread

What a bold move by Andy MacPhail, the kind of trade that no other GM could pull off. It's moves like this that show you why MacPhail is so revered among baseball executives- everyone knows that he is a lock for the commissioners job, but have you heard that they are looking into just waiving him into the Hall of Fame, without even a vote? I've also read that when he finishes his baseball career he plans to ascend bodily into heaven. What a guy!

Honestly, has MacPhail done anything even marginally gutsy or bold since his two blockbuster trades of Bedard and Tejada eons ago? Has he made a single move that has left fans and knowledgable observers thinking that the Orioles are closer to a pennant? I'm sick of all these scrap heap pickups and Cub re-treads; can the Orioles front office PLEASE make at least one move that shows me that Angelos and MacPhail really want to win? One move that makes this team substantially better?

I know you have the money, because Orioles payroll has been lower over the past few years than at any point in the last two decades, and you're making loads of money off MASN that didn't even exist 5 years ago. Just because we aren't the Yankees, able to fill every roster spot with $20mil-a-year all-stars, doesn't mean we need to resign ourselves to making do with unwanted free agents. A team in the Orioles' financial position is more than able to make a strong play for A) a power bat, B) a top-of-the-rotation starter, AND C) a true closer, without breaking the bank. In fact, NOW is a unique opportunity for the Os because they have so much young talent locked up for several more years before being arbitration-eligible; NOW is the best time to make some bold moves because in a few years all of our younger players will be making millions more than they are now.

PLEASE, MacPhail, will you do something that will really give this city a winner?

Fox hasn't had a real opportunity to prove himself. He was stuck behind Aramis in Chicago, and then relegated to UT player in Oakland. Put him at DH, 3B, 1B, C, or LF and he'll hit 20 HRs in a season. His minor league numbers in 08 and 09 were strong - 31 HRs in 08, and in 160+ ABs in 09 he hit 17 HRs.

Atkins has faded - that is very clear. Fox hasn't had the chance to play everyday. Give him the opportunity - I'd gladly take a .250 average with a .450 slg %. And if he plays horribly, see if he clears waivers and swap him with Bell later in the year.

Very low risk here with a good possibility for upside.

The next move I would like to see the O's make is MacPhail out of town. He just keeps bringing in one scrub after another. He makes these kind of moves while the team is crashing and burning.

The only positive I see here is that we now have three catchers. This would allow Matt Wieters to DH more often the remainder of the season.

maybe this will work out as well as the frank robinson trade did for the o's.

Hmm a pitcher with a 2.11 era for a batter with a .214 average only in McPhail's mind does this sound almost even

Why do the Orioles keep adding losers to the roster,and the all happen to be ex Cubs. The first loser added was Andy MacPhail. Lets bring back Dave Johnson and make Cal Ripken the new GM.

Oh my goofiness. McPhail and the O's organization is really hit rock bottom. I haven't heaerd anyone else interested in Fox and they don't just wait until he is put on waivers and pick him up if they want him that bad. They give up a decent minor league pitcher for this guy. Why do I keep watching these stinkn' O's? Why? This is just boneheaded. Letterman jests about the O's for good reason. What am I missing here? Again, why have I been watching the O's? They are totally broken. I'm wondering if McPhail is trying to get himself fired, and away from this mess after talking with potential and seasoned coaches. I could go on, but why?

With those incredible pickups of Atkins and Gonzalez to demonstrate how successful MacPhail can be in finding talent, I think we can be confident that MacPhail has done it again.

If Tillman can throw 94-95 mph in triple A and only hit 88 mph in the majors, he probably needs a shrink and not another session in the league where he throws 94-95!!

Incidentally, some of these "Verifacation words" are damn hard to read. Why does the Sun make it so tough?

Can dumb a*# Orioles fans stop pointing to a guy's minor league stats to say this was a bad trade. If we traded Fox when he was pounding minor league pitching last year for a 5 ERA former all-star reliever, people would still be complaining. Stop crying over nothing, this move made us neither worse or better.

It's kind of obvious that Andy does not trust the O's scouting. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he weren't signing for all the ex-cubs because at least then, he knows what he's working with. What are the O's doing about getting Scouts that know what the heck they are doing?

Great! Now the Orioles will make the playoffs! whooo-hoooo!!!!!!!!!! I wish this team would pack it's bags and leave. What a joke.

Must mean Roberts is gone for the year. Get Lugo off second and put Wiggy there. Atkins can't play left so we essentially get Atkins anemic hitting ability in left when we float Patterson and Scott with him. I wonder if he can play GM? Or maybe Little Napoleon is going to put us on "America has talent". Ladies and gentleman, welcome Miggy, Wiggy, Izzy and the Fox?

hahahahaha. Great now we have 5 players in the lineup with low 200 AVG.

How bout we trade...Tillman and Adam Jones and Berkin for, Adrian Gonz

Jeff- the O's seem to continue to block Moore from getting any time (I know he rolled his ankle but look long term). If Fox takes time at first, that puts Wiggy at second if you want the 'big' bats in the lineup. That means Moore is on the bench. This guy may not be a great player, he may not even be decent, but at least see what he's got at this level. He's had at least a few clutch hits in his limited playing time, which is way more than you can say for the rest of the team. What does he have to do to get time?

Jeff Z's reply: He was banged up a little and they've been facing a lot of lefties. Those are two reasons he hasn't played that much. Plus, he really struggles defensively at second base. That line drive that Coghlan hit at him in the second inning tonight absolutely needs to be caught, no questions asked.

Why did we even need a corner IF and OF,we have those positions covered.Why in the heck don't they put the players on the table that will get us a AA A 1st baseman and SS with some upside?

I think this move shows the lack of
talent in our minor league system.
why would you bring in another stop-gap player rather than giving one of
your minor leaguers a shot. the
organization is in will
be many years before the O's field
a major league team in Balto.
Shame on you Peter you screwed up a
wonderful fanchaise and a great
fan base.

Another mediocre move. Folks we're getting macfailed again.

No offense O's fans, but most of you know absolutely nothing about baseball, not really your fault because what you have been watching for the last 13 years is definitely not close to baseball.

Jake Fox is utility man because he can't play a position. The word though is that he can hit and the Orioles DESPERATELY need the help of a right handed bat.

I hope this means we can close the book Garrett Atkins once and for all.

Still dont understand why no one has given Jermain Dye a call.

Can't be worse than Atkins, and I like Fox potentially spelling Wieters than Tatum. I did read, "Wolf, 27, was 0-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 25 games for Triple-A Norfolk" why the heck was he not up here. Should have thrown him out there, what's the worse that could happen, he blows a hold...oh, wait...

this is just the front end of the O's trading Tejada, Scott, or Wiggington.

Canice Murphy in San Francisco,

What does exactly qualify you as a baseball guru? So Cubs fans don't know baseball because their team hasn't won the World Series in 100+ years. Did the Redsox fans learn baseball in the past 5 years as their team started to win.

Do us all a favor and keep your ignorance to yourself. Should I make an assumption about you because you live in SF just like you're making an assumption about O's fans? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about!

Nothing to get excited about, but Fox is a solid baseball guy, but yet again no emphasis on defense. Andy promised better defense, but game after game the defense kills them - the Scott error on Sunday, Moore missing a catchable ball in the first tonight, Tejada booting a double play ball, Moore throwing the double play away on the very next play....What is the common theme - every player mentioned is playing out of their natural position - and some like Scott, don't even have one.

Wolf will do well. McFail saw him pitch many times the past two seasons and refused to bring him up despite one run in past 25 innings. he saw him sit down 6 yanks at the end of spring training and he knows he can get big leaguers out. He refuses to accept that albers, mickolio, sarfate, hendrickson, all suck. release them and let wolfy pitch for the worst team in MLB. Nah, that would make sense. lets trade him and get another cub ex-cub that sucks.

This year is so reminiscent of when Pat Gillick went out and acquired the Seattle Mariner's bullpen.. which was the worst bullpen in MLB at the time...and was hailed for doing so (only because of Timlin).. We all remember how long those pitchers and Gillick lasted in Baltimore..

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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