Fox can DH with A's (PHOTO/LARRY WOOLIS)
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitchers Jeff Gray and Ronny Morla as well as infielder/outfielder Matt Spencer from the Oakland Athletics for infielders Aaron Miles and Jake Fox and a cash consideration. Gray has been added to Chicago ’s 40-man roster.
Gray, 28, went 0-1 with a 3.76 ERA (11 ER/26.1 IP) in 24 relief appearances last season with the Athletics. The righthander walked only four batters in 26.1 innings pitched while striking out 19. Gray did not allow an earned run in 15 of his first 19 outings, turning in a 1.71 ERA (4 ER/21.0 IP) through September 19, before allowing seven runs in his final five outings to increase his season-ending ERA to 3.76.
The six-foot-three, 196-pound Gray split the 2009 campaign between Oakland and Triple-A Sacramento. Gray went 2-2 with 16 saves and a 1.54 ERA (7 ER/41.0 IP) in 37 Triple-A relief outings. Combined between Oakland and Sacramento last year, Gray posted a 2.41 ERA (18 ER/67.1 IP) and walked only 10 batters in 67.1 innings pitched.
Originally selected by the Athletics in the 32nd round of the 2004 June Draft, Gray made the jump from Single-A Kane County at the start of 2006 to Triple-A Sacramento by the end of 2007 before making his major league debut with Oakland in 2008. He is 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA (15 ER/31.0 IP) in 29 career major league relief outings and is 21-21 with 36 saves and a 3.38 ERA (139 ER/370.2 IP) in 212 minor league outings (24 starts). He has allowed only 15 home runs in 370.2 minor league innings, an average of one home run per 24.2 innings pitched.
Gray is a native of Texas City, Texas and pitched collegiately for Southwest Missouri State University.
Morla, 21, pitched last season for Single-A Vancouver and went 1-7 with a 4.86 ERA (34 ER/63.0 IP) in 17 appearances, 12 as a starter. The six-foot-four, 200-pounder struck out 73 batters and walked 24, an average of 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings and a three-to-one strikeout to walk ratio. Morla also allowed only four home runs in 63.0 innings pitched, an average of one home run allowed per 15.2 innings pitched.
The right-handed pitcher originally signed with the Athletics as a non-drafted free agent on February 10, 2006 and is a native of Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic . He is 7-15 with a 4.52 ERA (99 ER/197.0 IP) in 48 appearances (36 starts) in three minor league seasons with Oakland ’s rookie-level team (2007) and Vancouver (2008-09).
Spencer, 23, was originally selected by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2007 Draft and acquired by Oakland in the 2008 trade that sent pitcher Joe Blanton to the Phillies. The left-handed batter and thrower combined to hit .289 (141-for-488) with 34 doubles, 19 home runs and 91 RBI between Single-A Stockton and Double-A Midland last season. He began the season by hitting 10 home runs in 30 games with Stockton to earn the promotion.
The six-foot-five, 240-pounder is a .281 hitter (321-for-1142) with 42 homers, 186 RBI, a .338 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage in 300 career minor league contests. He played collegiately at Arizona State University.
Miles, who turns 33 on December 15, signed a two-year contract with the Cubs on December 31, 2008. He batted .185 (29-for-157) with five RBI in 74 games with the Cubs last season.
Fox, 27, batted .259 (56-for-216) with 11 home runs and 44 RBI in 82 games with the Cubs last season. He was originally selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2003 June Draft.