In a move to add depth to the roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates have announced they’ve completed their second trade in a week with the Baltimore Orioles, acquiring Steve Lombardozzi for cash considerations.
Lombardozzi, who has played both the infield and outfield in his four-year career, was designated for assignment by the Orioles in December and subsequently cleared waivers. As a non-roster invite to spring training, Lombardozzi will step in and take the spot occupied by infielder Jake Elmore who elected to become a free agent yesterday after being designated for assignment by the Pirates last week.
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A former 19th-round selection of the Washington Nationals, Lombardozzi comes from good stock as his father was the second baseman for the 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, the younger Lombardozzi does not appear to have the defensive instincts of the elder and with a career average of .266 and a slugging percentage of just .341, he doesn’t offer much value at the plate.
Unless injuries dictate otherwise, expectLombardozzi to enter the season as a veteran utility-man at Triple-A Indianapolis. At just 26 years old and with already 829 major league plate appearances under his belt, Lombardozzi will offer some versatility if he is indeed called upon, but he has likely reached his peak so don’t expect anything more than replacement level production.