By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – In talking Monday with reporters about 37-year-old shortstop Alex Gonzalez, the most recent acquisition of the Detroit Tigers, general manager Dave Dombrowski acknowledged what is becoming more apparent every day as injuries add up.
“We’re somewhat in a jam,” Dombrowski said, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
However, the general manager stood behind the trade for Gonzalez, for whom the Tigers parted with 25-year-old Steve Lombardozzi.
“We’re getting a guy we like,” Dombrowski continued. “We’re trading for a guy that can play the majority of the games at shortstop.”
Per Beck, Dombrowski said new Tigers first base coach and longtime dominant shortstop Omar Vizquel recommended Gonzalez, the second shortstop for whom Detroit has traded in the last four days. Beck reported that while Dombrowski characterized the Tigers as being in a jam, he would not say the team is scrambling – just “busy.”
Detroit may have replaced Jose Iglesias at shortstop to its satisfaction, with Gonzalez and Andrew Romine acquired over the past few days and Hernan Perez and Danny Worth available internally to take turns at shortstop, but there are plenty more areas of weakness for the Tigers to shore up. The team is still a man down in left field, with Andy Dirks out after back surgery, and expected setup man Bruce Rondon will miss the season after doctors determined he will need Tommy John surgery.
Even outside of the injuries, it has been a rather bumpy offseason for the Tigers. Early on, Detroit traded Doug Fister, its reliable fourth starter, in a largely unpopular move considering what the Tigers got in return. Sunday the team issued a terse statement that 2013 Cy Young winner Max Scherzer had rejected Detroit’s considerable offer and that negotiations between his agent Scott Boras and the Tigers have ceased. The statement triggered a snippy response by Boras, elevating a quite ordinary matter (sides not coming to terms and pausing negotiations) into something of a PR snafu.