Tigers Sign Alex Gonzalez, Pass On Stephen Drew

alex gonzalez

March 24

The Detroit Tigers have acquired veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez from the Baltimore Orioles for utility man Steve Lombardozzi, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Gonzalez, 37, has played 15 seasons in the major leagues, for the Florida Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.

He appeared in 12 games for the Orioles this spring and batted .429 with four runs, one double, two home runs and six RBIs.

Meanwhile, the Mets and Diamondbacks have not had any trade talks about a shortstop, but have been scouting each other’s players according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

March 22

According to what a source told John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press, free agent Stephen Drew is willing to sign a one-year, $14 million deal with the Detroit Tigers.

It is also believed Drew wouldn’t want to sign with the Tigers until the day after Opening Day. If he waits to sign until after the season starts, he will be an unrestricted free agent next off-season, with no compensation attached. If he signs before then, his new club will have the right to make him a “qualifying offer” when he becomes a free agent. If the team makes the qualifying offer, it is entitled to a high draft pick as compensation from the team that signs him. That could make it harder for Drew to find a job.

The Tigers, who have lost shortstop Jose Iglesias for the season due to stress fractures in both his shins, acquired Andrew Romine from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. But Lowe writes that he doesn’t bring the Tigers any closer to having an experienced big-league shortstop.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski also took veiled shots at Seattle and Arizona when asked about trading for a better solution at shortstop.

“We talked to a lot of clubs,” he said. “Sometimes it’s amazing how guys who weren’t going to make their club a week ago are now making the All-Star Game,” Dombrowski said. “That’s just how it goes.”

The Tigers might eventually decide the $14 million is worth it because Drew would represent a huge upgrade over their current inexperienced group of shortstops, writes Lowe.

Sandy Alderson meanwhile, maintained as recently as Friday that he has had no recent conversations with Scott Boras regarding Drew, and that the Mets Opening Day roster will be comprised from the group of players that are already in Mets camp.

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