Tigers acquire Alex Gonzalez

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Faced with the likelihood that shortstop Jose Iglesias won't play this season, the Detroit Tigers traded for a second shortstop in four days Monday, acquiring veteran Alex Gonzalez from the Baltimore Orioles for utilityman Steve Lombardozzi.

The trade for Gonzalez follows a trade from Friday, when Detroit acquired shortstop Andrew Romine from the Los Angeles Angels for left-hander Jose Alvarez.

Gonzalez bats right-handed, while Romine is a switch-hitter, so it's possible the two will form a platoon at shortstop with Iglesias out of the lineup. The Tigers announced last week that Iglesias would miss four to six months with stress fractures in both shins and is unlikely to play this season.

Gonzalez, 37, had been a utilityman with the Milwaukee Brewers the past two seasons and signed a minor league contract with Baltimore this offseason. He has a .429 batting average this spring. The last time he was a full-time starter at shortstop was in 2011 with the Atlanta Braves. That season he hit .241 with 15 home runs and 56 RBIs. 

Gonzalez has a .246 average with six major league teams. He was the starting shortstop for the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski was the Marlins' GM when Gonzalez came up with the organization in 1998.

Romine, 28, played in 47 games for the Angels last season and batted .259. He is considered a good defensive player and stole 15 bases in 89 minor league games last year.

He made his first appearance in a Tigers uniform Sunday, going 0-for-4 against the Marlins.

Romine made his major league debut with the Angels in 2010 and has a .250 average in 74 career games. The fifth-round draft pick in 2007 is the son of former major league outfielder Kevin Romine and the brother of New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine.

Lombardozzi, 25, hit .259 with two homers and 22 RBIs for the Washington Nationals last season and was dealt to Detroit in December for pitcher Doug Fister.

To make room for Lombardozzi on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated catcher Johnny Monell for assignment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.