The Tigers brought in another candidate to add depth to their vacant shortstop position, trading left-hander Jose Alvarez to the Angels for shortstop Andrew Romine, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
Detroit has been weighing a number of options as the club seeks to replace Jose Iglesias, who will miss a large majority of the 2014 season with stress fractures in both his legs. The team's internal options include Steve Lombardozzi, Eugenio Suarez, Hernan Perez, and Danny Worth, although none of them look particularly suited to fill the starting shortstop role for a team built to contend now.
This reality likely led to Detroit's decision to trade for Romine, who has played in parts of four different seasons for the Angels since 2010. The 28-year-old, who can also play third and second base, has hit .250.303/.270 in 174 career plate appearances. Last season for the Angels, Romine batted .259/.308/.287 in 123 plate appearances, playing in 47 games for the Angels. In past years, Romine has played as a switch hitter, although according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Romine will hit strictly from the left side in 2014. He owns a career .250/.209/.259 line from the left side.
The left-handed Alvarez has just one year of experience in the majors, debuting in 2014 and posting a 5.82 ERA over six starts and 14 total appearances for the Tigers.
While Romine will add depth to the club's infield, the Tigers are still likely to pursue other options at shortstop as well. Romine isn't much of an upgrade over the team's other internal options, and with Detroit still holding World Series aspirations, the likes of Romine and Lombardozzi would be hard-pressed to adequately fill the shortstop role on a full-time bases.
What this means for Stephen Drew and his free agent status is still unclear. Ever since Iglesias' injury was announced, many observers have speculated that the Tigers would be a natural landing spot for the 31-year-old Drew. So far, however, Detroit has yet to pursue Drew in any significant way.
The Tigers have also been linked as possible trade partners for Seattle's Nick Franklin and Didi Gregorius of the Diamondbacks, both of whom look unlikely to land starting jobs in the season ahead.