This is interesting. I mean, beyond that it shows that, yes, Alex Gonzalez is still playing baseball:
What’s more, Connolly reports that the Tigers traded utilityman Steve Lombardozzi for him. Which is kinda nuts considering Lombardozzi was a (presumably) important part of the Tigers trade of Doug Fister trade and Gonzalez was a non-roster invitee for the Orioles. Detroit obviously didn’t think too much of Lombardozzi. There’s a decent chance he becomes the Orioles’ starting second baseman.
For the Tigers Gonzalez will be yet another body to throw into the void that is their Jose Iglesias-free shortstop position. And, if that doesn’t work out, he can be the utility guy. Heck, the latter may be more likely given that Gonzalez hasn’t played a full season at shortstop since 2011. In the past two seasons in Milwaukee he played more first and third base. He didn’t hit a lick last season. He’s 37.
Strange trade, but the Tigers are doing all kinds of strange things lately.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.