A's go the distance for utility infielder

It's February and the carousel just keeps spinning:

    The Cincinnati Reds acquired infielder Aaron Miles in a trade with the Oakland Athletics, swapping young infielder Adam Rosales and outfielder Willy Taveras.

    The Reds also will get a player to be named or cash, according to sources.

    In separate moves, the A's agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract with outfielder Gabe Gross and claimed infielder Steve Tolleson off waivers from Minnesota. They designated Taveras for assignment, along with left-hander Dana Eveland, to create space on their 40-man roster.

    The $1.3 million the Reds save with this deal helps offset some of the money they just committed in signing shortstop Orlando Cabrera.

    For Oakland, a primary motivation could be the addition of a useful utilityman who will be inexpensive.

    The Athletics had tried and failed to sign Jamey Carroll earlier in this offseason for about seven times what Rosales, 26, will cost.

    Known for his high energy, Rosales played all four infield positions in his two years with the Reds.

    Taveras will make $4 million in the second season of a two-year deal, while Miles will be making $2.7 million this season in the second year of his two-year deal.

I don't suppose this is the first time that a team has traded for a player making $4 million and immediately designated him for assignment. But it sure doesn't happen often. I'm sure I'm missing something here, but if the A's wanted Adam Rosales so badly, why not just send Miles and $1.3 million to Cincinnati and let the Reds deal with the Taveras paperwork?

With all this, the only real question is this: Is Adam Rosales worth $1.3 million?

Depends on what you believe. Do you believe his .212/.303/.317 line in the majors? Or do you believe instead his .299/.353/.490 line in the International League?

Both lines do count. But Rosales' entire history in the minors is pretty impressive, and apparently that's what the A's are betting on. He can play every position in the infield, and he'll be 27 this season and maybe we've not seen his best.

Still, it's an odd way to acquire a utility infielder.