Yes, the Orioles did trade a Wolf for a Fox. Pitcher Ross Wolf goes to Oakland and a few moments ago Jake Fox completed his first interview with Baltimore reporters.
Fox found out yesterday morning he would be an Oriole and today settled into his locker in the Camden Yards clubhouse.
“I’m excited about it. It’s always good to have a change and go someplace where hopefully you fit in. Where I came from, it just wasn’t the right fit for anybody. I didn’t fit into their style and it’s very difficult to change your style at this point. I’m happy to be here. It’s great to have a fresh start,” the 27-year-old, right-handed hitter said.
Fox hit .214-2-12 in 39 games with Oakland after batting .259-11-44 in 82 games with the Cubs last season.
“They like my versatility and the fact that I can play multiple positions. Juan (Samuel) said I’m going to use you around the diamond where I can fit you in. But basically, you have to earn your playing time and I’m ready to accept that challenge.”
Teams have been attracted by Fox’s power potential. He hit 31 homers in the minors in 2008 and last year hit 28 between Triple-A and the Majors.
But this year, he hit just two in 98 at bats with the A’s with an OPS of just 591.
“It was consistency and playing time. With a lot of power hitters, it’s all about timing and consistency at the plate. When you are playing once or twice a week it’s harder to perform. I hope to get more consistent at bats here. I’m here to help any way I can.
“I’m going to say this. It’s what needed to happen (getting designated for assignment). They knew I could play, but it was tough. When they designated me, it was almost a relief. Baltimore took a chance on me and I appreciate that. I hope they want me to be here as much as I want to be here.”
Fox, a third-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2003, made a handful of starts catching for Oakland and is ready to go back there for the O’s if needed.
“The A’s got me back into that and I feel comfortable back there. I had seven games behind the plate with the A’s and I feel comfortable back there. The hardest part coming to a new organization is learning the pitchers so you can call a good game.”
Fox certainly can play several positions like corner infield and outfield in addition to catch. What is his best position on defense?
“I just told Juan, just put me out there. I love playing the game. It depends on the day. Some days I feel like I play better in the infield; some days behind the plate and some days I feel better in the outfield. The hard work I put in at a lot of positions adds versatility. I can bring a lot to the table.”