Monday, November 12, 2007
Cubs trade OF Jacque Jones to Tigers for INF Omar Infante
DETROIT -- Filling needs as fast as possible, the Detroit
Tigers acquired outfielder Jacque Jones from the Chicago Cubs for
utility player Omar Infante on Monday.
"Our scouts really like him and how he fits because he's a
left-handed hitter that can play all three spots in the outfield,"
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said in a telephone interview. "But I
think it was a great trade for both teams because Infante can
really help a National League team because he can play short,
second, third and in the outfield."
Jones took over as Chicago's starting center fielder in the
second half this season. In Detroit, he's expected to split time in
left with Marcus Thames and provide depth behind Curtis Granderson
and Magglio Ordonez at the other outfield positions.
The Tigers missed the playoffs this fall after a surprising run
to the 2006 World Series. Hoping for a return to the postseason
next year, they addressed a major need two weeks ago by trading for
All-Star shortstop Edgar Renteria from Atlanta for two prospects.
Detroit also agreed Monday to a $7 million, one-year contract with
closer Todd Jones, who had become a free agent.
"The Tigers just seem to be getting better every winter," Todd
Jones said. "We officially don't have an out in our lineup
Jacque Jones hit .285 with five homers, 33 doubles and 66 RBIs
in 135 games last season, his ninth in the majors. He signed with
the Cubs before the 2006 season after playing for Minnesota from
"He gives us another left-handed bat that we wanted in the
lineup," Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said. "He's also an
established major league winning player that gives us some
flexibility in the outfield."
Infante batted .271 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 66 games
with Detroit this year. He played six positions and made his most
appearances at second base in 20 games. He also played shortstop,
third base and all three outfield positions.
"Detroit had been showing interest the last couple of weeks.
Dave and I started preliminary talks in Orlando and had some
serious discussions that concluded late last night," Cubs general
manager Jim Hendry said.
"We're happy to get Infante. He gives us another guy who is
versatile and can play everywhere on the infield and all three
outfield spots. ... It's good for both clubs. Dave was looking for
someone to play left field with Thames. We tried to wrap it up as
soon as we could. We both have other issues to address."
Jones languished on the Cubs' bench in the first half and was
nearly traded. He also heard plenty of boos from fans at Wrigley
Field as he struggled early. Once he started playing, his game
Hendry said Jones was pleased to be going to a team that was in
the World Series not long ago.
"Jacque was fine. We had a nice conversation before he went
home before the season was over. He knew the possibility existed,"
"I think he felt good about it. ... He played well here in the
second half and helped us get into the postseason. Hopefully, it
will be a good situation for both clubs."
With Jones gone, Hendry said the Cubs would probably turn to
young players such as Felix Pie and Sam Fuld in center, adding that
infielder Ronny Cedeno also has been working in the outfield.
Detroit is now focused on adding a veteran starting pitcher,
hoping to bring back free agent Kenny Rogers.
"In Kenny's case, they said last week that they wanted to see
what was out there," Dombrowski said.