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Iglesias has chance to be key defensive cornerstone

Iglesias has chance to be key defensive cornerstone

Iglesias has chance to be key defensive cornerstone

DETROIT -- Jose Iglesias was in a holding pattern like everybody else Tuesday night. He started at third base for the Red Sox against the Mariners, then was lifted for Brandon Snyder in the ninth inning. Iglesias doesn't get lifted for defensive purposes.

He had to wait for an explanation from Red Sox manager John Farrell.

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"I had to wait like two, three more hours," Iglesias said Friday.

Once he got the news that he was traded to the Tigers, it made sense. They needed a shortstop, and they knew him.

"Back in 2008, when I was in the Dominican Republic [after defecting from Cuba], I had the chance to do a couple tryouts for the Detroit Tigers," he said.

Now, he has the chance to become a defensive keystone for the infield for years.

"It's a great organization, great team," he said. "I'm very happy to be here. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be here and represent the Tigers."

He'll do so wearing a number no one has seen on a Tigers uniform in nearly two decades.

Iglesias doesn't know a whole lot about the franchise and its history. He wasn't even school age when the great Lou Whitaker retired. No one had worn No. 1 for the Tigers since.

The fact that Iglesias is now wearing it will rub some people the wrong way. Leyland only half-jokingly offered to let Iglesias have his No. 10, the number Iglesias wore in Boston.

If Iglesias lives up to the scouting reports, any perceived slight won't last long. In the meantime, Iglesias is learning about Whitaker.

"I asked for No. 1," Iglesias said. "There used to be a really good player here in Detroit. Unfortunately, I never saw him play but I hear a lot of good things about him. I'm just really thankful to have that number.

"To me, it doesn't really matter. I mean, I like No. 1. I hear it's a special number, and I'm glad to have it."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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