DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said before Friday's game that the trade that sent utility man Steve Lombardozzi to Baltimore last month was a difficult choice.
However, Detroit's dire straits at the shortstop position necessitated the move. Presumed starter Jose Iglesias is out indefinitely with stress fractures in both shins, so Lombardozzi was traded to Baltimore for veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez.
"That was a tough move for us," Ausmus said. "We didn't want to trade Lombo. It was just a necessity. Quite frankly, I hope he does well. I don't even care if he does well against us, as long as we win the games. He was a good guy in the clubhouse, worked hard. It's unfortunate we had to make that trade, in the sense we lost a quality person, but it was a trade of necessity."
Though Lombardozzi had grown accustomed to the idea of playing in Detroit, where he was traded in December in the deal that sent starting pitcher Doug Fister to Washington, he's excited about his time in Baltimore, having grown up an Orioles fan in Columbia, Md.
The late Spring Training swap was not without other advantages for Lombardozzi, who had to learn the nuances of two different clubhouses in a short timeframe.
"I've got a lot more friends now," he said.
Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.