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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Report: Tigers trade for SS Alex Gonzalez

In the Detroit Tigers’ mind, they have not yet fixed the problem at shortstop.

According to reports from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly, the Tigers made a trade Monday morning, sending utility man Steve Lombardozzi to the Orioles in exchange for shortstop Alex Gonzalez.

[UPDATE: The Tigers made it official 20 minutes later.]

Originally acquired in the Doug Fister trade, Lombardozzi likely would have been in a logjam to make the team, had the Tigers needed to carry two shortstops to for a platoon to replace Jose Iglesias.

A career .246 hitter, the right-handed-hitting Gonzalez will ostensibly take over the right-handed portion of the platoon at shortstop from the Danny Worth/Hernan Perez combo, with the recently acquired Andrew Romine still handling the other half.

Lombardozzi was expected to be able to be a backup at shortstop when Iglesias was still healthy, and the original plan was still in order, but he had not played the position at the big-league level.

The 37-year-old Gonzalez has started more than 1,500 major league games at shortstop, playing for six different teams in his 15-year career. He had signed with the Orioles as a free agent on Feb. 1, and was a non-roster invitee to spring training.

Gonzalez played in only 65 total games (only 27 at shortstop) over the last two seasons with Milwaukee, and hit .177 in 41 games a year ago before being released in June.

With Lombardozzi easing the logjam of bench players, it likely means that Don Kelly would be the only true utility player the Tigers keep, clearing the way for Tyler Collins to make the team as the fourth outfielder.


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