– Earlier this evening, the Pirates acquired Steve Lombardozzi from the Baltimore Orioles for cash [Press Release]. This is unrelated to last week’s Travis Snider trade; Lombardozzi is not the player to be named later.
The son of a former big league second baseman of the same name, Lombardozzi has now been traded three times since last winter. He was part of the Tigers-Nationals trade that sent Doug Fister to Washington and himself, Ian Krol, and Robbie Ray to Detroit in December. The Tigers then flipped him to Baltimore last March for veteran Alex Gonzalez when they were desperate for a shortstop. Lombardozzi only played 20 games in the majors last season, recording 74 plate appearances. He spent most of the year in Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .270/.307/.311.
Now 26 years old, Lombo can play second, third, short, or even left field. He’s consistently hit for average, but refuses to walk and carries little power. He’s nothing more than depth at this point; however, his versatility could be useful later. Lombardozzi isn’t on the 40-man, but has been invited to MLB spring training.
You might remember him having a big game against the Pirates in July of 2013 — he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and made this spectacular play in a crazy 9-7 Nats win:
– If anything, the Lombardozzi trade could be related to this: Jake Elmore — DFA’d when the Pirates signed Jung-Ho Kang — elected free agency on Monday, rather than accepting his outright assignment to Indy. Though they’ve lost him, they get the same kind of depth in Lombardozzi about 24 hours later: “meh” hitter, versatile infield defender, probably won’t matter anyway.
– Buster Olney on the Pirates, via Bucs Dugout:
"The franchise just gets better and better, from anchor Andrew McCutchen all the way through the depth of its 40-man roster, and more and more the Pirates are viewed within the sport as a club with a culture of success. Pittsburgh is a place where pitchers turn around their careers, where there is a next-level employment of defensive metrics, where you go to find a manager, such as Jeff Banister (hired by the Rangers). Other teams are trying to emulate what they do."
Well, file that under “things I thought I’d never hear.”
– If you saw our post on the Pirates’ 2015 Free Shirt Fridays, you’ll remember that there are a few to be decided by fan vote. The poll is now open at pirates.com, and you can cast your vote for one of these seven designs:
Pitchers & Catchers Report: 14+ days
First Grapefruit League Game: 27+ days
Opening Day: 61+ days
Our annual Opening Day countdown/player preview posts (“In … Days”) will begin on Friday…