Tigers trade Steve Lombardozzi for Alex Gonzalez

3/24/14 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Feb 28, 2014; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Alex Gonzalez waves before playing the Tampa Bay Rays in a spring training exhibition game at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY SportsIn one of the more puzzling moves of spring training, the Detroit Tigers traded utility man Steve Lombardozzi to the Baltimore Orioles for 37-year-old shortstop Alex Gonzalez.

The Tigers are looking for a replacement for Jose Iglesias, who recently was ruled out for the season due to stress fractures.

Gonzalez, like Iglesias, is a light-hitting but defensively strong shortstop. But at age 37, can he still be the elite defender that he has been in the past?

Lombardozzi was one of the players involved in the trade that sent former Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister to the Nationals. The Tigers also acquired shortstop Andrew Romine, and he's another option for the team.

This deal seems a bit strange, because the Tigers are giving up a legitimate bench player for someone who was barely considered a contender to make the Orioles' opening day roster.

The real question is: Why haven't the Tigers signed Stephen Drew yet? Sure, he'd cost them a first round pick. And yes, his agent is the notoriously greedy Scott Boras, who will likely try to squeeze every last dime out of the Tigers in exchange for his client's services. But he's far better than any of their other options, and can they really risk going into the season with high expectations and a huge hole at shortstop?
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